Reading Jeff Banister’s comments in The Dallas Morning News defending his inserting Joey Gallo into the lineup at this critical point in the season, it’s obvious he is merely speaking someone else’s words.
Because it makes no strategic sense. And game strategy is his domain.
If, indeed, they are just trying to “get Gallo’s bat going” as Banister said, echoing the front office line, don’t you do that in Triple-A? Or Double-A, in his case?
Back in early May when Odor was struggling mightily, lost and overmatched and hitting just .144, the Rangers didn’t keep running him out there in major league games to “get his bat going.” No, those games are too valuable to be trusted to someone struggling. They sent him to Triple-A. Where one is sent to get one’s bat going.
Guess what? It got his bat going. Do you think he would have been called back up otherwise?
Back in June, when Gallo was struggling mightily, the front office could have done one of two things.
A. Sent him to Triple-A to get his bat going.
B. Sent him back out up to the plate in major league games to get his bat going.
They chose A.
Because that is where one is sent to get one’s bat going. So why on Earth would that change two month later in the middle of a playoff chase when these games really matter?
When they sent Gallo down to Triple-A Round Rock in June to get his bat going, he hit .195 with 90 strikeouts in 200 at-bats. But he did have 14 home runs.
His bat never got going. That earns a call up?
Rather than call him up, they should have, in fact, sent him down to Double-A to get his bat going. That’s the natural course of action. When a hitter is crushing it, you send him up. When a hitter is lost at sea, you send him down.
To recap: Up when good, down when bad.
This makes no sense. Not at this time of year.
He already lost his role on the major league club because he proved he is overmatched by major league pitching. Yes, he might one day develop into the threat we all hope he can be, but that day should not be in the middle of a playoff run.
Banister also said, “I’m willing to look and see if we can get him going.”
While he is looking, I hope he takes a gander at where the Rangers are in the A.L. West chase. Or the wild card chase.
And while he is looking, I hope he checks out the Rangers schedule. There are only twenty-four more games left after last night’s 2-1 win over Los Anaheim.
This is no time for experimentation. No time for charity work.
One other things Banister said was, “His bat can be a real game-changer.”
Joey Gallo started Wednesday against the Padres. He struck out three times on ten pitches. When lifted for a pinch hitter, that pinch hitter slapped a double in the top of the tenth to drive in the runner at first and win the game for the Rangers. I will go out on a limb and say, a Gallo strike out in that situation instead of the double would not have won the game. Just speculating, that’s all.
Joey Gallo’s bat would have been a game-changer. Just not the direction we would have wanted.
I am not wanting to give up on Joey Gallo. He could develop into a real threat in the middle of the lineup. But why risk it now, on a stage this big, when there is so much on the line? This can’t be good for his psyche. This can’t be good for his development.
It’s certainly not good for the Rangers lineup.
Now comes the news that they are going to bring up Tanner Scheppers. To get his arm going?
I can tell you exactly where he and his arm should go.