Gallo optimistic he will play again in 2019

September 6th, 2019

BALTIMORE -- A week of taking batting practice on the field with his teammates has increased ’s optimism that he will be back in the lineup before the end of the season.

“It’s good, it’s coming along pretty well,” Gallo said. “If it continues to go well, when we get home I can start hitting against some live pitching and see where it goes from there.”

The Rangers finish this road trip Sunday against the Orioles and open a three-game series against the Rays on Tuesday at Globe Life Park.

“To me, every day it gets progressively better and I can swing harder,” Gallo said. “I can take my full swing a little better every day. Hitting on the field has been one step further along.”

Gallo underwent surgery July 25 to repair a broken hamate bone in his right hand. Thursday marked six weeks since the surgery, and the Rangers went into Friday’s game with an 18-23 record in that span. During those 41 games, the Rangers were averaging 3.9 runs per game.

“I kind of had the feeling it would take longer with him just because the torque he creates on that hand and the body,” manager Chris Woodward said. “I didn’t think it was going to be a three-to-four week injury. I kind of figured it would be five to six weeks. He feels better, but it is slower than we thought.”

Gallo said he would likely need at least a week of facing live pitching before he is ready to play in a game. He has played in 70 games this season and is hitting .253 with 22 home runs, 49 RBI and a .598 slugging percentage. The Rangers still feel it’s important for him to finish the season on the field.

“I would like him to,” Woodward said. “I don’t see why he can’t be in the lineup at some point before the season ends. I would like it just for the sake of being back with the guys and in the lineup so he he can go into the offseason knowing this is what our lineup would look like with you in it. I think it’s important to get him back out there.”

Rangers near strikeout record

The Rangers entered Friday with 1,401 strikeouts offensively on the season, the most in the Major Leagues. The White Sox set a single-season record with 1,594 strikeouts last season. The Rangers would have to average 9.65 strikeouts per game over their final 20 games to catch the White Sox.

They have averaged 9.86 on the season. At that rate, they would finish with 1,598 strikeouts. That would surpass the White Sox, but they may not end up with the record.

The Tigers have struck out 1,385 times in 139 games. They are on pace for 1,614, which would give them the record.

“I don’t want to set that record,” Woodward said. “Nobody wants to set that record. And it matters. In today’s game, you can create more of an advantage than ever if you don’t strike out. Some teams don’t care. Some players don’t seem to be bothered by it. I know our guys do. They don’t want to strike out. It’s not like we are creating a narrative of, ‘Hey guys, don’t worry about it.’”

Rangers beat:

• Rangers right-handed reliever Rafael Montero has held left-handed batters hitless in their last 24 at-bats against him. Left-handers are 2-for-36 overall, a .056 batting average that is the lowest by any Major League pitcher with at least 26 at-bats against lefties.

• Rookie left-hander Kolby Allard has a four-game winning streak, the third longest of the season for the Rangers. Lance Lynn had a six-game winning streak and Adrian Sampson won five straight.

• Danny Santana started at third base Friday for the fourth time this season and eighth time of his career. He has less experience there than any other position, but the Rangers want to see if he can handle it.