Gallo adjusting to Major League pitching

Rookie has 20 strikeouts in past 10 games, but Banister confident he'll find way

Gallo adjusting to Major League pitching

ARLINGTON -- In some ways, Rangers third baseman/outfielder Joey Gallo is like most Major League rookies. In some ways, he's nowhere close.

After going 1-for-4 in Thursday's 6-3 loss to the Athletics, Gallo has only five hits in his past 36 at-bats. He also has an alarming 20 strikeouts in that 10-game span. Like most rookies, he is dealing with his first instance of Major League struggles.

Gallo, though, was intentionally walked in his second career game. He is a 6-foot-5 left-handed hitter who already has five home runs. Pitchers know he is coming, and they are ready. Like a five-time All-Star, he is a target.

"We knew there would be these kind of ripples during every game," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He's not chasing [pitches]. These guys know who Joey Gallo is. Believe it or not, he's getting pitched like Prince Fielder."

Opposing pitchers have been hammering Gallo low and away, and they are quickly learning how to get him off balance. In that regard, Gallo is still catching up.

"After the first week or so, pitchers have started making adjustments," Gallo said. "Obviously I have to adjust, too, and keep learning the pitchers. There are guys I have never seen still."

Gallo has always been a high-risk, high-reward type hitter. He has rare power, but he also came up with a tendency to chase pitches. Gallo has worked on his plate discipline and even started grinding out some walks.

For reasons like that, Banister said he's not at all concerned with Gallo. It's a matter of a rookie learning the land.

And even though the impending returns of outfielders Josh Hamilton and Delino DeShields could put Gallo's immediate Major league future into question, this still no ordinary rookie.

"I just feel like maybe my timing is little off right now," Gallo said. "I'm not seeing the ball too well. But the last few games, I feel like I've had pretty good swings at least, but the results haven't been there."

Cody Stavenhagen is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.