Shin-Soo Choo and Rougned Odor entered Saturday riding 1-for-22 skids that have sent their batting averages tumbling to .119 and .132, respectively.
One of the two left-handed hitters was in the Texas Rangers’ lineup against left-hander C.J. Wilson. One was given a day to work on his swing. The deciding factor was their track record.
Odor doesn’t have much of one, so he went to work early in the cages and on the field with the goal of getting him to gain a better idea of what pitches he can hit.
Choo, who entered with a career batting average of .280, dropped to seventh in the batting order but was given the benefit of the doubt in being allowed to face Wilson.
“Choo’s an accomplished hitter,” manager Jeff Banister said. “The one thing I will say is the patience with him is paramount on my side. The track record is significant. He’s going to hit.”
Choo isn’t sweating his funk, saying that he’s been through it before and usually has recovered. Odor isn’t too worried either, though Banister said that Odor and other young hitters might be pressing.
Odor said that he is seeing the ball well and missing his pitches. Banister, though, sees a hitter who isn’t working counts and is expanding the strike zone when he falls behind.
“He knows what pitches he likes to hit and what he hits well,” Banister said. “The aggressiveness he has at the plate is the thing that makes him good. You don’t want to take that away. It’s what to be aggressive on.”
Beltre’s bats bill
Third baseman Adrian Beltre had three bats broken Friday by Angels right-hander Garrett Richards, so he went after Richards’ pocketbook Saturday.
It was the first time in his career that Beltre had lost three bats in one game, so he jokingly sent Richards an invoice for three bats at a cost of $100 apiece.
“I told him I would take no checks. Cash only,” Beltre said.
An amused Richards responded by sending Beltre an autographed bat with an inscription that said, ‘Sorry. This should cover it.’”
“I always love facing him,” Richard said. “We have that good battle every time.”
Left-hander Wandy Rodriguez will make another start for the Rangers after working five effective innings Friday night.
Banister confirmed that Rodriguez will face Seattle on Wednesday to close the three-game series at Globe Life Park. Right-hander Yovani Gallardo will pitch Monday, and lefty Ross Detwiler, whose last start was skipped so that he could work on his mechanics, is scheduled for Tuesday.
Rodriguez allowed one run on five hits in five innings. He had some control issues — walking three, hitting one and throwing two wild pitches — but he left with a 2-1 lead in a game the Rangers ended up losing 3-2.
“I thought Wandy competed really well,” Banister said. “A veteran outing.”
▪ Right-hander Kyuji Fujikawa (right groin) has seen his velocity and command return during his rehab assignment with Triple A Round Rock, but he won’t be an option for the Rangers until he pitches on back-to-back days. He was scheduled to pitch Saturday.
▪ Righty Ross Ohlendorf (right groin) will continue to pitch for Round Rock until he is stretched out enough to comfortably handle two innings. He worked a scoreless inning Wednesday in his season debut.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760