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Playing time a factor as Rangers ponder pair

Club wants Gallo, Robinson to have everyday role, which means Triple-A is likely
March 28, 2017

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Joey Gallo and Drew Robinson were both in the Rangers' lineup against the Rockies on Tuesday. Gallo, playing for the first time since March 19, was at designated hitter while Robinson was at second base.They are still with the Rangers as the final roster decisions approach. But

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Joey Gallo and Drew Robinson were both in the Rangers' lineup against the Rockies on Tuesday. Gallo, playing for the first time since March 19, was at designated hitter while Robinson was at second base.
They are still with the Rangers as the final roster decisions approach. But general manager Jon Daniels said Tuesday that it will likely be better for both to be playing regularly at Triple-A Round Rock rather than sitting on a Major League bench.
Robinson is attractive to the Rangers because he can play every position but catcher and pitcher. But he has also never played in the Major Leagues, and Texas has Jurickson Profar, who is equally versatile.
"The best way to put it is that in a short period of time, to have his versatility for in-game moves has definite value," Daniels said. "Overall I don't see us wanting him to spend the whole season on the bench. He is still a consideration out of the gate, but I don't like the idea he would be not playing all year. He has made so much progress -- I don't want him to go backward."

The Rangers miss Hanser Alberto, their veteran utility infielder who is sidelined with a sore right shoulder and will begin the season on the disabled list. Robinson could start the season in the Majors and then go to Triple-A once Alberto is ready sometime in April.
"Not having Hanser makes things challenging," manager Jeff Banister said. "The value of his skill set and our confidence with him … him not being available presents some challenges and made us look at other options."
Texas could also go with nine relievers with a three-man bench of Profar, Ryan Rua and Robinson Chirinos. But Robinson has definitely impressed the Rangers, regardless of what decisions are made.
"The spring went all right," Robinson said. "I moved all over the diamond and showed what I could do offensively. I didn't finish strong, but I am happy with the way it went."

Gallo needed a big spring to force his way into Texas' lineup as an everyday player, but a strained left hamstring kept him mounting a finishing charge. The Rangers don't need him on the bench -- they need him to continue his development at Triple-A as a middle-of-order power hitter.
"Whatever is best for the team, that's what I am going to do," Gallo said. "It's always great to play every day. If that's the case, I'll do whatever makes the ballclub better and me better. That's what I am going to do."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.