Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo wasn't expecting to hit 40 home runs this season, but he started wanting it once he got to 39. He did it Saturday (video by Jeff Wilson). Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com
Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo wasn't expecting to hit 40 home runs this season, but he started wanting it once he got to 39. He did it Saturday (video by Jeff Wilson). Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com

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Rangers Reaction: What does a 40-homer season say about Joey Gallo?

September 30, 2017 11:20 PM

ARLINGTON

Here’s a look at the remaining milestones Texas Rangers players are attempting to achieve with one game remaining:

Elvis Andrus .300 season: Average at .297 after going 1 for 5. Must go 3 for 4 on Sunday to finish at .299689, 4 for 4 to finish at .301.

Nomar Mazara 100 RBI: Stuck on 99. Needs one in the season finale.

Rougned Odor 162 games: He has played in 161 and has been assured that he’ll play Sunday.

A big, big, big milestone was reached Saturday night. No, not the Rangers winning a second consecutive game.

They did, though.

Here’s some Rangers Reaction from an 8-4 victory over the Oakland A’s.  

Banister talks up Saturday stars Gallo, Cashner

Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister talks about the excitement of a 40-homer season for Joey Gallo and a solid season for Andrew Cashner (video by Jeff Wilson).

Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com

1. Of all the milestones Rangers players were chasing, the one Joey Gallo caught in the second inning — a 40-homer season — is the most impressive of all, even if the ball is flying out of big-league ballparks more than ever before.

While that’s true, the surge is in players jumping from totals in the teens to totals in the 20s, save for Justin Smoak. Where did that come from? But good for him, a good dude and former Rangers first-round pick.

But a 40-homer season — he added No. 41 in the third — still signifies elite power, which everyone knew Gallo had and had been hoping to see. He did it in his first full major-league season, a year after looking completely lost at the plate in a limited showing with the Rangers.

He’s come a long way, and the belief is he’s only going to get better.

“Just how far I’ve come from last year,” Gallo said. “I had one hit in the big leagues. Now, to do this is unthinkable.”

The home runs are, obviously, a big deal. But so too are the strides he made at the plate despite barely being a .200 hitter who should barely avoid a 200-strikeout season.

One is easy to find. He has drawn 75 walks, which indicates that he has acquired a better idea of the strike zone and the pitches he can handle. That has led directly to his 40-homer season.

Another sign requires having watched games the past six weeks. When he has hit the ball, he has done so more to center field and left field. Gallo is still a pull hitter and always will be, but the fact that he’s hitting to all fields more means he’s letting pitches travel deeper and is able to handle them better.

Gallo’s season has been a success (just look at his on-base plus slugging percentage). He has played three positions well and been an asset on the bases. He also went the distance for the first time in the majors, and that is a significant step for every young player.

The belief, now more so than ever, is he’s only going to get better. 

2. Manager Jeff Banister said that Adrian Beltre will appear at some point in Sunday’s season finale so that the Hall of Fame-bound third baseman can receive a standing ovation from the fans.

Beltre probably doesn’t want it, as he often says he doesn’t like being the center of attention. But what if Banister knows something the rest of us don’t, like the Rangers plan to trade Beltre in the off-season, or that Beltre has requested to be traded, or that Beltre is considering retirement?

Cue the suspenseful music.

That could explain why Shin-Soo Choo is practicing at first base. The Rangers might need Gallo as their full-time third baseman.

That could explain why the Rangers still continue to evaluate Delino DeShields’ play in center field even though they should know by now. They might need to sign a center fielder so that DeShields can play left because Gallo will be at third and Choo will be a first baseman/designated hitter.

Cue the suspenseful music.

Don’t read anything into it more than Banister wants to honor the third baseman and team captain while giving fans a chance to show him how much he is appreciated and loved in Arlington.

Then again, maybe Banister is doing it to remind Beltre of how good he has it here and would be silly to want to go elsewhere.

Cue the suspenseful music. 

Cashner would like to return to Rangers in 2018

Right-hander Andrew Cashner won his final start of the season Saturday and said he hopes the Texas Rangers make him an offer to return this off-season (video by Jeff Wilson).

Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com

3. If that was free-agent-to-be Andrew Cashner’s final start for the Rangers, he went out a winner. The Rangers would be wise to make sure that’s not his final start for them.

Cashner wasn’t at his best, though he took a shutout into the sixth inning. He threw 99 pitches over six innings, in which he allowed two runs on five hits with two walks and only two strikeouts.

He finished his season with 64 walks and 86 strikeouts, but also a 3.40 ERA and a 2.72 ERA at Globe Life Park over 14 starts.

Cashner is committed to being a groundball pitcher, dumping his pursuit of the strikeouts to limit the wear and tear on his body. And that’s great.

But Banister spoke at length pregame about the lousy strikeout-to-walk ratio the Rangers’ pitching staff has. Too many walks. Not enough strikeouts. Cashner finished with a strikeout, but one a batter earlier would have saved a run.

Cashner’s low strikeout total shouldn’t dissuade the Rangers, who will need three pitchers to fill the rotation. Banister said that they will have to go outside the organization for them, as no one in the minors is ready for the majors.

Cashner, a native Texan who loves being in Texas and who was their most consistent starter this season, seems like a perfect fit for team that desperately needs pitching.

Oakland

000

002

011

4

8

1

Texas

041

002

10x

8

13

3

Oakland AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Semien ss

5

1

2

1

0

1

.249

Joyce rf

4

2

2

1

0

0

.243

Nunez lf

1

0

0

0

0

1

.200

Lowrie 2b

3

1

0

0

1

0

.277

Davis dh

3

0

2

1

0

1

.246

Healy 1b

4

0

0

0

0

0

.271

Chapman 3b

4

0

1

1

0

0

.234

Maxwell c

3

0

0

0

1

2

.237

Canha lf-rf

4

0

0

0

0

1

.207

Smolinski cf

4

0

1

0

0

1

.250

Totals 35

4

8

4

2

7

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

DeShields cf

4

0

1

1

1

1

.268

Calhoun lf

4

1

1

1

1

0

.267

Andrus ss

5

0

1

1

0

0

.297

Middlebrooks 3b

0

0

0

0

0

0

.216

Mazara dh

4

1

1

0

0

1

.253

Gallo 1b

2

3

2

3

2

0

.209

Robinson 3b-ss

3

0

1

0

1

0

.221

Nicholas c

4

0

1

0

0

2

.254

Odor 2b

4

1

3

1

0

0

.205

Hoying rf

4

2

2

1

0

1

.222

Totals 34

8

13

8

5

5

E—Casilla (1), Calhoun (1), Robinson (4), Odor (19). LOB—Oakland 7, Texas 7. 2B—Davis (28), Andrus (44), Odor (21), Hoying (3). HR—Joyce (25), off Bush; Semien (10), off Espino; Gallo (40), off Gossett; Gallo (41), off Castro. RBIs—Semien (40), Joyce (68), Davis (109), Chapman (39), DeShields (22), Calhoun (4), Andrus (88), Gallo 3 (80), Odor (75), Hoying (7). SB—Odor (15), Hoying (3). CS—Robinson (2). Runners left in scoring position—Oakland 3 (Maxwell 3); Texas 5 (Calhoun, Andrus, Mazara, Nicholas, Hoying). RISP—Oakland 1 for 11; Texas 4 for 10. Runners moved up—Healy, Chapman. GIDP—Lowrie, Canha. DP—Texas 2 (Odor, Andrus, Gallo), (Odor, Andrus, Gallo).

Oakland

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Gossett, L 4-11

1 2/3

5

4

4

1

0

39

6.11

Castro

1 1/3

1

1

1

1

2

25

4.38

Smith

1 2/3

1

0

0

1

1

29

6.79

Moll

 2/3

2

1

1

0

1

19

10.80

Dull

 2/3

2

1

1

1

0

8

5.14

Casilla

1

2

1

1

1

0

24

4.27

Brady

1

0

0

0

0

1

15

5.68

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Cashner, W 11-11

6

5

2

2

2

2

99

3.40

Rodriguez

1

0

0

0

0

2

17

6.23

Bush

1

2

1

1

0

1

20

3.78

Espino

1

1

1

1

0

2

18

6.00

Inherited runners-scored—Castro 2-0, Moll 1-0, Dull 1-1. HBP—Bush (Davis). WP—Gossett. Umpires—Home, Tony Randazzo; First, Mike Estabrook; Second, Gerry Davis; Third, Rob Drake. T—3:14. A—32,759 (48,114).

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