Shin-Soo Choo has never blamed nursing his left ankle as an excuse for his struggles at the plate. Neither has manager Ron Washington.
Washington is going to keep putting Choo in the lineup at the No. 3 spot. There aren’t many other options, of course, and Choo has a track record that suggests he eventually will get going in the right direction.
“He’s a proven player,” Washington said. “I’m just figuring he’s struggling. I’m also figuring he’s going to find it again. I’m not concerned about it. Too late to be concerned now.”
Choo went into Friday’s game batting .132 (7 for 53) in June. He also had a .303 on-base percentage, well below the .433 clip he posted in April and the .389 in his career.
Most of Choo’s struggles coincide with when he initially injured his left ankle, landing on first base awkwardly during the April 21 game. But that is not something either Washington or Choo believes is the cause.
“The ankle has nothing to do with him hitting,” Washington said.
But Washington knows about the ankle and is doing his best to keep Choo off it as much as possible. Choo served as the designated hitter on Friday and could do so again Sunday.
Odor gets break
Second baseman Rougned Odor is swinging a hot bat with a .353 average and 15 RBIs over his last 21 games, but Washington stuck with his original plan of giving the rookie a day off Friday.
The Angels were expected to start left-hander Hector Santiago. However, those plans changed once they were rained out Wednesday in Cleveland. Righty Garrett Richards started instead, but Washington felt it was his best move to give the left-handed-hitting Odor an extended break.
Washington went on to say that, while Odor has put up good numbers of late, he is still “surviving” in the big leagues.
“He has 80-something at-bats,” Washington said. “He’s surviving. He sees the ball and hits the ball.”
The Rangers announced the signing of fifth-round pick Wes Benjamin, a left-hander out of the University of Kansas who is rehabbing from Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery.
With the signing of Benjamin, the Rangers have their first 10 picks under contract and 23 of 40 in all.
Additionally, the Rangers acquired left-hander Justin Marks off waivers from Oakland. He was assigned to Triple A Round Rock, and the club cleared a 40-man roster spot by transferring Prince Fielder (neck surgery) onto the 60-day disabled list.
The Rangers also signed two non-drafted college pitchers in right-hander Pat Kaminska (Central Michigan) and left-hander Michael Clark (Kent State).
Briefly• Catcher Geovany Soto (right knee surgery) has started squatting and receiving pitches. He is progressing well but is still not expected to return until after the All-Star break.
• After getting three opinions on it, first baseman Mitch Moreland will undergo season-ending reconstruction surgery on his left ankle Monday. It will be performed by Dr. Robert Anderson in Charlotte, N.C.
• Memorial services have been set for Richard Durrett, the ESPNDallas.com Rangers reporter who died unexpectedly Tuesday. Friends and family will celebrate his life during a service at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Northway Christian Church in Dallas.