Shin-Soo Choo is expected to be back in the leadoff spot for the Texas Rangers on Tuesday, but he might not be in left field.
Manager Ron Washington said Choo, who has been sidelined for a week with a sprained left ankle, is progressing well, but might break back in as the designated hitter.
Either way, Washington said: “If he says he’s ready and he has no setback today, for sure he’s playing tomorrow.”
Choo did pinch-hit in the ninth inning Monday, flying out to left field.
Choo tested his ankle earlier Monday by running sprints from home plate to first base and is beginning to feel more comfortable with it. By the end of his session, he was hitting first base with his left foot.
“I’m very close,” Choo said. “Every day I feel a lot better.”
More injury updates
Left-hander Derek Holland returned to Texas on Monday and went through fielding drills at first base with Washington. Holland joked that he was going after Prince Fielder’s job, but in reality was simply trying to build more stamina in his left knee.
Holland, who faced batters last week in Arizona, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session today and report back to Arizona later in the week. Holland said his arm is 100 percent, while his knee is more about 80 percent.
“I trust it,” Holland said of his knee. “I’m just not getting as much push off my leg, so it’s just a matter of getting that going.”
In other injury news:
• Right-hander Tanner Scheppers (right elbow inflammation) was scheduled to meet with team physician Keith Meister after batting practice Monday to determine whether he can begin throwing again. If cleared, Scheppers could play catch on Tuesday.
• Second baseman Donnie Murphy (bruised left instep) left Monday’s game with the injury. X-rays were negative and he is listed as day to day.
• Left-hander Joe Saunders (bruised left ankle) is continuing to rehab in Arizona and is progressing. The team will meet to discuss his next step.
Craig Gentry walked into the Globe Life Park visiting clubhouse for the first time on Monday afternoon, but had nothing but positive memories from his time in Texas.
He went from a 10th-round pick in 2006 to a valuable role player for the Rangers in their 2011 World Series run and again in their wild-card year in 2012. He played in 106 games with them last season, too, before being dealt to Oakland as part of a four-player trade last December.
“It caught me off guard; I didn’t have a clue, but it’s part of the game,” said Gentry, who makes his off-season home in Dallas-Fort Worth.
“You know you’re probably not going to spend your entire career with one team, so I’m where I need to be. But my time in Texas was amazing, playing in the World Series and winning two American League championships.
“That was a great chapter in my life and hopefully I can help this team accomplish more than that.”
Gentry said he had no ill feelings toward the Rangers’ organization, although he admitted it’s different being on the other side of the AL West rivalry.
Gentry faced his old team for the first time as a late-inning replacement on April 21, going 0 for 1, and then started Wednesday’s game, going 0 for 4 as Martin Perez tossed a shutout.
Gentry wasn’t in the starting lineup Monday, but is expected to be Tuesday with Perez on the mound. It’ll be his first start at Globe Life Park since the trade.
“I played against those guys already, so I got those feelings out of me,” Gentry said. “Now, it’s just a baseball game and they’re a team we’re trying to beat. That’s how I look at it now.”
• Washington on Prince Fielder, who entered Monday with a .209 average and two home runs: “I don’t lack confidence in Prince Fielder one iota. We’ve just got to wait and I’ve go patience. When he gets started, the rest of us can jump on his back … he’s got a big back.”
• Fielder, Alex Rios and Elvis Andrus are the only Rangers to start all 26 games.
• Despite their recent struggles, Washington said he would continue to use Alexi Ogando and Neal Cotts as the primary setup men in the eighth inning. “I’m not running away from those guys,” Washington said.