It has become increasingly difficult for the Texas Rangers to trust Shin-Soo Choo in the outfield. Has the time come to make the lefty slugger the full-time DH in Arlington?
As Spring Training approaches the talk of position battles will increase. Although, the Texas Rangers do not have almost any open positions on the diamond besides possibly left field. Could Shin-Soo Choo fill that spot or should he move to full-time DH in 2018?
The 35-year-old veteran slugger played in 149 games with Texas last season. He hit .261 with 22 home runs and 78 RBIs in 149 games. He played 77 games in right field and spent 65 games at the DH spot.
Choo has voiced his opinion about not wanting to become a full-time DH. Although, Choo finished with a -1.5 dWAR rating in 2017. Choo may want to continue playing outfield, but it might not be the best move for the organization.
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It is assumed Delino DeShields will cover center field while lefty Nomar Mazara plays in right field. Both players are basically penciled in as starters barring any injuries. Left field is a bit more crowded with Willie Calhoun, Drew Robinson, Ryan Rua, and Choo all fighting for playing time.
Ideally, the Rangers want Calhoun to become the starter in left field. Both Robinson and Rua are looked as more of utility players than starters. Choo would then become the full-time DH, but he could fill-in as a starter in the outfield on occasions or emergency starts.
The best move for the organization is to let Choo play full-time DH. He might not be a fan of the idea, but needs to accept it. The Rangers are paying Choo $20 million or more each of the next three seasons.
Moving Choo to DH would hopefully help the 35-year-old stay healthy. It is unnecessary for the Rangers to allow Choo into the outfield when they have younger and better options defensively. Full-time DH is the best spot for Choo long-term, but we’ll wait and see what Texas decides to do.