An early-season calf strain, hamstring tightness, a back injury and a broken forearm held Shin-Soo Choo to his lowest total in games played since 2007. What was promising, however, was the fact he kept a good pace in home runs and stolen bases when he actually took the field, and he actually posted his highest rate of hard contact (43.2 percent) in what could be considered a significant season of play. Unfortunately, any excitement is kept in check by the fact he turns 35 in July, and the fact that the Rangers may be constructing their new long-term outfield without him. Choo can still take a walk better than most hitters, which keeps him relevant in fantasy leagues that value on-base percentage. But will he have a consistent starting role with Texas? In the late rounds of mixed fantasy drafts, he could find some profit for owners willing to wait him out, but it's going to depend heavily on how much playing time he can earn.
Choo is expected to be the second hitter in the Rangers lineup, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. The veteran on-base machine had a tumultuous injury-filled season in 2016, but the Rangers are still insistent on plopping him right in front of Texas' run producers. This would likely line up Choo to score more runs than the number he produces, which could work in his favor given his strong walk rate. However, he needs to prove he can stay healthy all season, something he failed to do last year.
Choo is poised to get more at-bats as the designated hitter this season following the signing of Mike Napoli, the Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant reports. Napoli will play primarily play first base, which moves Jurickson Profar to left field and Choo to DH. He should still see some time in the outfield corners, but given his age (34) and injury history, the Rangers understandably like the idea of keeping his legs fresh whenever possible. Choo has also graded out as a negative defensive player in each of the last nine seasons, so there are a variety of ways to justify keeping him off the grass.
Choo is out of the lineup for Sunday's ALDS Game 3 against the Blue Jays. Choo started the last three games of the regular season and Game 1 of the series, but is now set to sit his second in a row in favor of Nomar Mazara in right field. Although a small sample size, Choo is hitless against Sunday's opposing starter Aaron Sanchez. On the other hand, Mazara has collected two base knocks in six at-bats.
Choo is not in Friday's Game 2 lineup against the Blue Jays, Rangers VP of Comm. John Blake reports. Though Choo produced the team's only RBI in Thursday's loss, he wrapped up Game 1 with an 0-for-3, two strikeout showing. With southpaw J.A. Happ on the mound for Toronto in Game 2, the left-handed Choo will take a seat in favor of Nomar Mazara, who will get the start in right field and hit ninth.
Choo (forearm) was activated off the DL on Friday, Rangers VP of Comm. John Blake reports. Choo had been out since the middle of August after undergoing forearm surgery, but he'll return in time for the final series of the regular season. He'll get the start in right field and bat seventh Friday, though it's unclear if he'll continue to see playing time over the weekend or if the club will elect to rest their right fielder in advance of the playoffs.