Gallo not keen to replace injured Beltre at hot corner: 'I hate 3rd base'


The Texas Rangers have considered moving Joey Gallo back to the hot corner with veteran third baseman Adrian Beltre on the disabled list, but the 24-year-old isn't crazy about the idea.

"I don't like it," Gallo told reporters, including Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, on Wednesday. "I hate it, no joke. I hate third base."

Gallo, who came up through the minors as a third baseman, has spent more time at third than any position over parts of four seasons with the Rangers, but hasn't logged a single inning there in 2018, playing exclusively at first base and left field. While he's willing to play third base with Beltre out, insisting he has "no problem playing there," Gallo made it clear he'd prefer not to.

"I'd rather catch," Gallo said. "No joke."

Since debuting with the Rangers in 2015, Gallo's work at third base has been below average, according to both Defensive Runs Saved (-3) and Ultimate Zone Rating (-3.5), and he has yet to convert a chance deemed "impossible," "remote," or "unlikely" by FanGraphs' Inside Edge Fielding.

The Rangers started Isiah Kiner-Falefa at third base against the Seattle Mariners on Wednesday, with Gallo in left field.

"If you ask me the question, 'Do I think that bouncing Joey around is a detriment to his development?' I'd say that," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said, via Wilson. "I think Joey is a very mentally tough guy. We've bounced him around all year long, and he continues to go out there and play the game and play it hard. He's still another young guy that's learning to play at this level."

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