Players play with nagging injuries daily, and his stiff lower back, at 75 percent of full strength, wasn’t going to keep him out of the lineup for a third consecutive game.
“Good enough to play,” said Choo, who was the Rangers’ designated hitter. “Every day has been better. I think 75 percent is still good enough to play. In this game, nobody plays at 100 percent. Everybody has something somewhere in the body.”
The Rangers are without Carlos Gomez, who is out four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, but won Tuesday without Gomez and Choo. The offense, though, has more punch to it with Choo, who unseated Delino DeShields from the leadoff spot and pushed him to the No. 9 hole.
Choo was slowed by back issues last season and said those were far worse than the current stiffness. He said that he won’t be apprehensive when he does play, and said that he is healthy enough to play in the outfield.
Manager Jeff Banister said that Choo could be in right field against left-handed pitchers, with fellow left-handed hitters Jared Hoying in center field and Nomar Mazara in left.
Choo is pleased to just be in the lineup.
“I didn’t really expect in two days to feel that much better,” he said. “I know compared to last year’s injury this year isn’t even the same, but I’m pretty surprised today is that much better.”