The Texas Rangers took a hit to their powerful lineup on Monday when lead-off hitter Shin-Soo Choo exited the game after being hit by a pitch. Choo had started his swing and was attempting to stop when the pitch connected with the inside of his left wrist area leaving him with a fractured forearm.
The 2016 Texas Rangers’ campaign has been a challenging one for Shin-Soo Choo who will now have been put on the Disabled List for a fourth time this season. This injury is similar to an injury that Robinson Chirinos was dealt in April that lead to him missing 2 months. The situation with Choo should be similar and would indicate that he will be done for the rest of the season.
The overall feeling from Rangers fans have expressed from this news seems to be, “oh well”. This is somewhat understandable because the Rangers have tallied up the best record in the A.L. to this point, pretty much without him.
But the Texas Rangers fans also should notice that with the Prince Fielder injury and now Shin-Soo Choo, there is about $40 million of the payroll this year that didn’t really contribute this season.
Shin-Soo Choo was the best player for the Texas Rangers in the second half of the 2015 season and when he played this year, he was excellent at getting on base in some form or fashion. The Texas Rangers have him on the books for 4 more years and around $20 million per year.
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With the loss of Fielder it allowed the Rangers to use the DH position liberally by giving players half-days which was going to help Choo with his tender back this year. That spot will be available for other players now and the question to ask will be who will take over that leadoff spot in the lineup? Jurickson Profar looks to be the player whose workload will grow since he can play outfield and has an on base percentage of .328 in the leadoff spot. Other players who you’ll see in the leadoff spot occasionally should be Delino DeShields (OBP .319) and Roughned Odor (Avg. .259). No matter who takes over for Choo, the Rangers should be able to keep trucking.
The absence in right field will allow Nomar Mazara to play more of his natural position and hopefully we will see some spectacular plays like the ones he would make when he first came up to the majors earlier this season.
Now it is being reported that Shin-Soo Choo will have a plate inserted into his forearm and as a long shot, could be available in mid to late October. If Choo plays again this year then that does mean something is going right for the Texas Rangers and they are deep deeeep into the playoffs.