Joey Gallo

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers "All For" Gallo Competing In Home Run Derby Despite Oblique Injury

June 19, 2019 - 5:43 pm

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - Back in March during Spring Training, Rangers slugger Joey Gallo made it known that he'd like to compete in this year's home run derby after learning that the winner would now be awarded a $1 million prize. 

"I think it will be fun to do it," Gallo said, via TR Sullivan. "Hopefully, I will be healthy and able to do it this year.”

Gallo has been reluctant in the past to participate in the contest, having been asked twice to compete. He was hitting .194 at the All-Star break in 2017 and .187 last season and didn't want to put himself out there. 

“I know if I went, it would be, ‘This guy is the biggest joke in baseball,'" Gallo said. “'He is hitting .180 and he’s in the Home Run Derby?’ That all falls under [the thought that] I wasn’t playing well enough to be there in the first place.

“There wasn’t anything positive that could come out of it. Yeah, if I won that’s great, but I didn’t want it to come at the cost of hurting my season or not being ready for the second half, be tired. We also went to Cabo last year. I’d rather go to Cabo than take 1,000 swings.”

Fast forward to today, Gallo is having an All-Star caliber season, hitting .276 with 17 home runs and 41 RBI. The only thing standing in the way of him competing is the fact that he's currently on the shelf with a strained left oblique. However, Gallo just began a rehab assignment today in Arizona and is expected back next Tuesday in Detroit. So he'll be healthy enough to compete in Cleveland July 8.  

But will his injury prevent the Rangers from allowing him to compete? 

"You know, it doesn't change how we feel about it," Daniels said on the Ben and Skin show on 105.3 The Fan. "I think it's pretty cool from where Joey's come from. He's always been a great home run hitter but now he's being recognized as one of the great young hitters in the game. He was asked to do it in the past and he turned it down. If he's asked this year, and I'm assuming if he's healthy he will be, and he definitely will be ... I think it's pretty cool.

"I think a lot of the fears of guys having bad second halves. ... Listen, famous last words ... (and I'll be upset) if he does get hurt doing it ... but I don't think he will. And I think it's such a great honor for him to be recognized. It'll be exciting because they won't just be talking about how far he hits balls ... they'll be talking about how he's one of the legitimate young superstars in the game. He deserves that and we'd be all for it. We'll take our cut when he wins. "