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Prospects slim for Gallo's return this season

@Sullivan_Ranger
September 21, 2019

OAKLAND -- It doesn't look like Joey Gallo will play again this season, as the Rangers have transferred him to the 60-day injured list. Gallo, who could be activated off the 60-day injured list on Sunday, was placed on the IL on July 25 after undergoing surgery to repair a

OAKLAND -- It doesn't look like Joey Gallo will play again this season, as the Rangers have transferred him to the 60-day injured list.

Gallo, who could be activated off the 60-day injured list on Sunday, was placed on the IL on July 25 after undergoing surgery to repair a broken hamate bone in his right hand.

But the Rangers don’t expect him to be ready by the last game of the season on Sept. 29 against the Yankees. Gallo was working out in Arizona with the Rangers' instructional league squad last week and was still experiencing discomfort in the hand. He was sent back to Texas to be examined by Dr. Thomas DiLiberti, the hand specialist who did the original surgery.

“There is no new injury and no aggravation. ... It’s just the level of discomfort, and he doesn’t have full strength in his hand,” general manager Jon Daniels said. “We are not going to push it. Probably not going to play again this year, but we are going to leave that open a little bit. If he progresses over the next week, he could get in a game on the next homestand, but we are not expecting it.”

Texas still expects a full recovery over the offseason and Gallo should be ready for Spring Training.

“There is an expected range for a player to come back and this is just on the longer side,” Daniels said.

The Rangers were hoping Gallo would get back on the field and finish the season strong. That is no longer a priority.

“If we were in a postseason race, he would have been back two weeks ago and playing probably terrible,” manager Chris Woodward said. “He would have tried but probably been off. He has made too much progress this year to come back and play just a couple of games. Part of that is on us because we wanted him back.

"We asked him to do a lot early. It was the best chance to get him back. We were trying to get him back with a significant amount of time left.”

Pence still trying to play

Outfielder Hunter Pence, who is on the injured list with a strained lower back, is still hoping to play again this season despite having a setback last week in Texas. Pence is with the Rangers in Oakland.

“For the second time today, we started some light rotational work to see if we can progress,” Pence said. “This is the second attempt at that. The first attempt didn’t go well. We will see how it feels tomorrow.”

The 2019 All-Star is a free agent after the season and Daniels said there are two different scenarios that could play out this winter as far as Pence returning to the Rangers.

“He was extremely productive on the field, and he was [a] really valuable member of the clubhouse that you would love to have back,” Daniels said. “On the other hand, how many at-bats are we going to have for a corner outfielder-DH. On the surface, as we are currently constructed, not a lot. Things could change. That’s the reality.”

The Rangers have Shin-Soo Choo signed for next season to be the DH -- and they have Willie Calhoun and Nomar Mazara as corner outfielders. Daniels also said Gallo is not expected to play much center field next year.

“That further complicates the corner outfield situation,” Daniels said.

Federowicz added to roster

The Rangers added catcher Tim Federowicz to the active roster with Jeff Mathis still dealing with tightness in his lower back. Federowicz was with the Rangers from June 7 to Aug. 2, before finishing the season at Triple-A Nashville.

He was home in North Carolina before being summoned to Oakland. Jose Trevino, who started in Friday's 8-0 loss, went into the game having caught 59 of the Rangers' last 61 innings. Mathis hasn’t played since his back locked up on him after just two innings during last Saturday’s game.

“It’s better,” Mathis said. “We are trending in the right direction. We’ve still got a ways to go, but definitely feeling better.”

Rangers beat

• The Rangers have announced their rotation for the final homestand. Ariel Jurado, Kolby Allard and Mike Minor are scheduled to pitch against the Red Sox. Joe Palumbo, Brock Burke and Lance Lynn are lined up to face the Yankees.

• Ronald Guzmán hit his 10th home run on Wednesday against the Astros. The Rangers have 10 players with at least 10 home runs, tying the 2004 team for the most in one season in club history.

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.