Josh Hamilton is back from the disabled list and to make room for his return to the active roster the Rangers have demoted top prospect Joey Gallo to Triple-A.
Hamilton played just seven games for the Rangers before hurting his hamstring, which knocked him out for four weeks. He hit well in that brief showing, coming back from shoulder surgery, drug and alcohol relapses, and a trade from the Angels to hit .273 with two homers and a 1.021 OPS.
Oh, and this is fun: Hamilton and the Rangers play the Angels this weekend.
Gallo was initially called up to replace the injured Adrian Beltre at third base and then shifted to left field when Beltre returned. He started out hot and then went into a slump, hitting .218 with five homers and a .754 OPS in 25 games. His batting average was ugly and as expected Gallo struck out a ton, but a 21-year-old posting a .754 OPS in his first taste of the majors is plenty impressive. His power potential is unmatched and he’ll be back in the second half.
In the meantime, Gallo has the second-most strikeouts in MLB history through any hitter’s first 25 career games:
Javier Baez 46
Joey Gallo 43
Giancarlo Stanton 41
George Springer 39
Brett Jackson 39
Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.
This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.
Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.
Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.