Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo took a swing during his at-bat in the fifth inning Saturday and immediately grabbed his left side. He didn’t even finish the at-bat and left the game. Uh oh. The immediate thought in that situation is an injury to the oblique that could last something like six weeks. 

Initial word from the Rangers: 

At least the word used there is “tightness” instead of a strain. Semantics can matter, though it’s still possible there’s worse news coming. 

Losing Gallo would be a huge blow to the Rangers. Earlier Saturday, he clubbed his 17th homer of the year: 

In 214 plate appearances this season, the 25-year-old Gallo is hitting .276/.421/.653 with 11 doubles, a triple, 17 homers, 41 homers, 41 RBI and three steals. The Rangers have even been playing him in center field. 

The Rangers entered the day 28-27 and in a three-way tie for the second AL wild card spot. Gallo has very clearly been their best position player, so losing him for any number of games would be a tough break. 

If Gallo is forced to hit the IL, it looks like Delino DeShields would head back to the Rangers and man center field. For whatever it’s worth, DeShields is 9 for 24 (.375) with a double and homer in his five games since going back down leading into Saturday. 

As for Gallo, this could be a real bummer. He’s having a huge breakout season and has been deserving of your vote to start in the All-Star Game. Not only that, but the Home Run Derby winner gets a million bucks this year. The All-Star week has the chance to be The Joey Gallo Show. Hopefully he’s healthy by then. 

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