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Michael Choice, Donnie Murphy get spots on Rangers’ bench

03/26/2014 4:27 PM

03/26/2014 4:29 PM

As expected, Michael Choice will be the fourth outfielder and part-time designated hitter for the Rangers this season, general manager Jon Daniels said.

The UT-Arlington and Mansfield Timberview product impressed all spring, batting .361 with four home runs and 15 RBIs. The Rangers acquired Choice last winter in a four-player trade that sent Craig Gentry back to the A’s.

“I put in a lot of hard work to get to this point and I’m excited,” Choice said. “To make a 25-man roster is a huge accomplishment and probably one of the hardest things to do in the world.”

And, somewhat unexpectedly, Daniels also said infielder Donnie Murphy will break camp with the team. The Rangers acquired Murphy on a waiver claim from the Cubs on Wednesday.

Murphy is being viewed as a utility infielder who has played every infield position but first base, and could also form a platoon with someone at second base until Jurickson Profar returns.

Murphy has a career .215 average with 29 home runs and 105 RBIs over eight seasons in the big leagues.

“He’s got a little bit of pop, always hit left-handers fairly well,” Daniels said. “Good makeup, gritty, gamer … those are the types of words people use to describe him. We felt he was a nice fit for us.”

That leaves two more openings on the bench. One is expected to go to another infielder from a group that consists of Josh Wilson, Adam Rosales and Kensuke Tanaka. And the other is most likely going to corner infielder Kevin Kouzmanoff, although the Rangers could decide that outfielder Jim Adduci deserves a spot on the team.

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