The latest out of Arlington…
- Joey Gallo will start game-simulation workouts on Monday with the hope of being back from his oblique strain as early as next weekend, though the team will surely be as cautious as possible with the star slugger. With Gallo on the verge of a return and Willie Calhoun even closer to completing his own injured list stint, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News and T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com both address how the Rangers will handle this incoming glut of outfield/DH possibilities. Gallo had largely been playing center field at the time of his injury, but since the defensively-superior Delino DeShields has been hitting well in Gallo’s absence, manager Chris Woodward made it clear that “if DeShields is on the team, Delino will play center.” This leaves Sullivan thinking that Gallo will play in left field when he returns, though such a deployment would mean one of Hunter Pence, Shin-Soo Choo, or Nomar Mazara would have to sit every day, as the other two players would handle right field and DH duties. Grant notes that Gallo would be slotted in at first base since Ronald Guzman is optionable and isn’t hitting particularly well, though Woodward has hinted that he would prefer not to switch Gallo back to first base (his former position) in midseason.
- “We’ve probably pursued every starting pitching depth option out there,” Rangers assistant GM Shiraz Rehman told reporters, including Grant and Sullivan. “We’ve talked with a lot of clubs, but they are concerned about their depth, too. They need pitchers, also.” Aside from Mike Minor’s ace-like performance and some solid work from Lance Lynn, the Rangers haven’t received much out of their rotation this season beyond some decent (but likely unsustainable) efforts from Adrian Sampson and Ariel Jurado, leaving Texas looking for controllable starting help as they both look ahead to their long-term plans while seeing if the team can stay afloat in the wild card race this season. Grant suggested that the Marlins’ Hector Noesi and the Giants’ Ty Blach could fit what the Rangers are looking for in the short term — experienced pitchers throwing at Triple-A, and potentially acquirable from teams that aren’t in the pennant race, and thus more apt to let such veterans go to a team that would offer them a Major League opportunity.
- One familiar arm could be back in the pitching mix, as Rehman said that the team is trying to re-sign Nick Gardewine after releasing the right-hander earlier this week. Gardewine has spent much of the season on the Triple-A injured list, and thus couldn’t be put through outright waivers after being designated for assignment, hence his release to create a 40-man roster spot. Gardewine has a 3.71 ERA, 3.12 K/BB rate, and 8.8 K/9 over 323 innings in the minors, plus 13 innings for the Rangers over the 2017-18 seasons.
- The recently-acquired Jake Petricka has been on the Rangers’ radar for a while, as Sullivan reports that the team was interesting in signing the right-hander to a minor league deal during the offseason. Petricka instead opted for a split contract with the Brewers, and appeared in six games for Milwaukee in April before being outrighted off the team’s 40-man roster.