The question was not if, but when.
The Texas Rangers announced Joey Gallo and Alex “Chi Chi” Gonzalez were called up from High-A Myrtle Beach to AA Frisco earlier today.
Gallo is definitely no surprise. Many eyes have been on him since he was drafted in the first round, 39th overall, by the Rangers in the 2012 June Amateur Draft.
In 58 games with the Pelicans of Myrtle Beach in 2014, Gallo had a slash line of .323/.463/.735 with 50 RBIs, 53 runs scored and 51 walks.
He does strike out a lot – 64 times in 246 plate appearances so far this year – but when he puts the ball in play, big things tend to happen.
Gonzalez was initially drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 11th round of the 2010 June Amateur Draft, but he never signed a contract and elected to attend Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla.
The Rangers selected him in the first round, 23rd overall, in the 2013 June Amateur Draft and he has pitched very, very well since.
Gonzalez spent a little time in Short-Season Spokane last year before being promoted past Low-A right to High-A Myrtle Beach, where he started five games.
This year, Gonzalez started 11 games for the Pelicans and carried an ERA of 2.62 in 65 1/3 innings of work. Gonzalez struck out 49 and walked just 16 while allowing just 56 hits.
With the rash of injuries – actually, it’s a plague, at this point – I completely understand the calls by fans to get guys like Gallo, Gonzalez, Ryan Rua, Luke Jackson, Jake Smolinski and others up to the big leagues.
Listen carefully – it’s a bad idea.
These guys are incredibly young, need some seasoning and need to show they can compete at the higher levels of the minors before tossing them into the fire at the Major League level.
You’ve heard it a million times and, yes, I’m going to say it again: You don’t want to risk rushing these guys and ruin them.
For example, we don’t have to look that far back. Look at Edinson Volquez.
Volquez was churning through the Rangers’ farm system, chewing through hitter after hitter until he got to the big leagues as a late call-up in 2005-06.
He got lit up at the big league level and it stunted his growth.
In 2007, Volquez tumbled all the way back down to High-A in order to find himself. Luckily for him, he managed to do so.
He was dealt prior to the 2008 season to the Cincinnati Reds for Josh Hamilton, and you know the rest.
The point: Mayhem at the big league level doesn’t mean pushing and prodding your young prospects further and further up. You let them grow.
I know the injury situation is way past DEFCON 5 with the parent club, but that doesn’t mean you sacrifice the growth of your young players in the farm system simply because of their potential.
That’s all it is at this point: potential.
The Rangers are going to have to ride this out, one way or another.
It’s too early to think about next year, but – at the same time – it’s not. When your team gets ravaged by ridiculous injuries over and over and over, it’s hard not to think about.
But the Rangers are still in the hunt and they still have Ron Washington as their manager. He’s going to get the best out of his depleted roster – a roster than seems to get trimmed by the day.
Chaos may be happening on the big league level, but it’s too early to panic and it’s way, way too early to start shooting youngsters up the pipeline.
As excruciating as this may sound, the Rangers need to stay the course.