Shin-Soo Choo sat out Tuesday’s game because of some minor inflammation in his left elbow, but is hopeful to return to the lineup Wednesday. He hasn’t played since Saturday.
“It’s happened every spring the past three or four years,” Choo said. “I’m feeling good.”
At the plate, Choo said he is beginning to get his timing down. He has gotten off to a slow start so far, going 3 for 17 (.176) with four strikeouts, but said his elbow issue has not affected him.
In other injury news, Geovany Soto has been catching bullpen sessions and going through batting practice. He remains on schedule to start his first Cactus League game on Saturday.
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“It’s coming along great, man,” said Soto, who had surgery to remove a small bone in his foot at the beginning of spring training.
Soto will get additional at-bats in minor-league games later this month and is on schedule to be ready by Opening Day.
Who’s the long man?
The battle for the final spots in the rotation has been an important storyline all spring. There are several candidates with track records vying for jobs and not everyone is going to win one.
But someone from that group could emerge as the long reliever for the Rangers, an important role in manager Ron Washington’s mind.
“You’ve got to have somebody down there long if a starter gets knocked out early,” Washington said. “You need someone to bridge if the game gets away from you. You need someone to give you some innings. You definitely need a long guy.”
That could be a role that falls to someone such as Tommy Hanson or Joe Saunders if they don’t make the rotation. Hanson allowed one run over four innings Tuesday, while Saunders gave up four runs, three earned, over three innings.
Reliever Robbie Ross has also expressed an interest in filling that role if he doesn’t break camp as a starter.
• Robinson Chirinos is 6 for 6 and has reached base in all seven of his plate appearances the past two games. He started the spring 0 for 9. Said Washington: “Right now, he’s the hottest hitter in the Cactus League.”
• Washington was pleased with every pitcher during Tuesday’s ‘B’ game. Justin Germano threw three scoreless innings followed by scoreless innings by Shawn Tolleson, Miles Mikolas and Martire Garcia.