The Texas Rangers have called up third baseman Joey Gallo and added him to their 25 man roster. The Rangers have put Drew Stubbs on the disabled list. In addition, to make room on the 40 man roster for Jared Hoying, called up earlier today, the Rangers have designated outfielder Patrick Kivlehan for assignment.
Stubbs sprained his toe yesterday while running the bases, and he is expected to be out one to three weeks. He initially was said to be on the d.l. earlier today, then the Rangers said it was a game-time decision. Apparently, the game-time decision was whether Gallo would make it to the ballpark in time to be activated.
I'm confused about why Gallo got the call. He's been working almost exclusively at third base this year, getting his first action at first base over the weekend, and just was activated from the AAA disabled list. I assume he will be sort of a backup outfielder and bench bat, but the real question to me is whether this is just a one or two day promotion, or whether he's going to be up for a while. The assumption has been that Jurickson Profar would get called up when Rougned Odor's suspension starts (likely in the next day or two, given Odor's appeal is tomorrow), and so I'm not sure why they wouldn't just call Profar up now if that was the plan.
While there doesn't seem to be a clear path to playing time for Gallo right now, he has played well enough in AAA to warrant a call-up. He is slashing .265/.415/.639 in 106 plate appearances for Round Rock, and perhaps most importantly for Gallo, has just 24 Ks against 22 walks. If Gallo strikes out less than 25% of his plate appearances, he's going to be an All Star caliber hitter, so that's a tremendous sign.
Meanwhile, the Rangers have 10 days to trade, waive or release Kivlehan. Kivlehan, 26, has just a .184/.252/.262 slash line this year, but he's an athletic outfielder who had a 766 OPS last year in AAA, and who is on his first option, so my guess is he would be claimed if he were waived. Kivlehan came over as part of the ill-fated Leonys Martin trade, along with James Jones, who was non-tendered, then re-signed to a minor league deal, and Tom Wilhelmsen, who is now in AAA after an awful six week stretch in the major league pen.
Kivlehan being DFA'd is a surprise, as I thought the team would give him more than six weeks of minor league action this year after acquiring him in the Leonys trade, but the strides Ryan Cordell has made this year, and the performance of Ryan Rua, may have made him somewhat superfluous in the organization. Still, I expected that A.J. Griffin, who is still 3-4 weeks away, would be a candidate for the 60 day d.l. before they'd cut Kivlehan loose.