Despite Gallo's slow start, Banister sees progress

March 11th, 2017

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Joey Gallo's home run in the seventh inning on Friday left him 3-for-23 in the Cactus League. He has two home runs, five walks and 11 strikeouts, but Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he sees definite improvement.

Banister didn't have to wait long to see it, either. Gallo went 1-for-3 with a two-run single in the Rangers' 5-1 win over the White Sox in a split-squad game Saturday.

"Joey's main focus in his work and the cages is trying to control the at-bat," Banister said. "I'm not saying he's up there trying to take pitches, he's still looking for something to drive. His competitive nature is more streamlined and focused. The negatives don't linger. He is able to move on and compete.

"Obviously through the process, all the hard work and handling situations, Joey needed some positive reinforcement and he got it last night."

Rangers beat

Most Rule 5 pitchers are young guys whose career was derailed by serious arm injury or they have great arms with little control. , 26, doesn't fit that criteria. He was a steady performer rising through the Astros system -- going 9-10 with a 3.20 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP at Fresno last year. He just behind too many hot prospects in the Astros pitching hierarchy.

"There were just a lot of guys over there," Hauschild said. "They have one of the most talented sytems. It's good to be able to fight for a spot. I never had that chance in Houston. I'm trying to make the most of it."

, who received an injection in his sore right arm on Friday, had trouble getting back to Arizona because of spring break and overbooked airlines. He is still due back Saturday and plans on beginning a throwing program Sunday.

was used at designated hitter in the Dominican Republic's first game of the World Baseball Class and the plan is to start him at third base against the United States on Saturday. Beltre has been dealing with a strained left calf muscle but Banister said he's not concerned.

"Adrian knows how to manage his own effort," Banister said.

has been playing center field for the Netherlands, but will focus on left field and the infield when he returns to the Rangers after the tournament.

, recovering from shoulder surgery, threw 25 pitches in the bullpen without issue. It was his third time off the mound this spring.

• Catcher Patrick Cantwell is day-to-day while recovering from a wicked foul ball that hit him in a sensitive spot on Thursday. He did catch in the bullpen on Saturday.