Despite Rangers facing righty, Choo sits

Banister says decision not based on outfielder's gaffe

Despite Rangers facing righty, Choo sits

HOUSTON -- The Rangers' lineup for the first game of the second half contained a surprise Friday night.

Shin-Soo Choo was not in the lineup even with a right-hander on the mound for the Astros. He is not hurt, but the Rangers had Delino DeShields in left, Leonys Martin in center and Josh Hamilton in right.

"We feel like that's the three we need out there tonight," manager Jeff Banister said before Texas' 3-2 loss to Houston. "We still feel that Choo is part of the winning process. We need Choo, similar to early in the season, to get going offensively and defensively and be a quality player on both sides."

Choo entered the second half hitting .221 with 11 home runs, 38 RBIs, a .305 on-base percentage and a .384 slugging percentage. Choo, in the second year of a seven-year, $130 million contract, finished the first half hitless in his last 11 at-bats and batting .157 in his last 27 games.

"He's the manager. I respect his lineups," Choo said after Friday's game. "Everybody wants to play, so I want to play, too."

Banister said the lineup had nothing to do with what happened Sunday in Arlington. Choo didn't hustle on a ground ball that deflected into the outfield of first baseman Mitch Moreland's glove. The result was Will Venable of the Padres turning what should have been a single into a triple. Choo admitted his mistake afterward.

"It's not as urgent as we would like to see a guy back up," Banister said. "We talked about it … it's a non-issue. We've moved on. If you play this game for 162 games, then there will be opportunities for that to happen. You try to limit them. It doesn't look good and I'm sure there was chatter. But that play had no bearing on our lineup.

"There is nothing that says Choo won't be out there [Saturday] night. We're trying to win tonight."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.