Rangers expect Tolleson to return Friday

Choo to continue his rehab in extended spring training games

Rangers expect Tolleson to return Friday

CLEVELAND -- The Rangers are expecting Shawn Tolleson to be back in uniform on Friday, when the Rangers open a three-game series with the Mariners.

Tolleson has been away from the team on family emergency medical leave to be with his father as he is being treated for cancer. The rule allows a player to be away for three to seven days, and Thursday would be the seventh day for Tolleson.

Tolleson, whose family lives in Allen, which is north of Dallas, threw 30 pitches in live batting practice on Tuesday while working out with Double-A Frisco.

Choo headed for Arizona
The Rangers are sending outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to Surprise, Ariz., to continue his rehab program. The plan is for Choo to be used at designated hitter in an extended spring training game on Thursday and Saturday and then five innings in the outfield on Monday.

After that, the Rangers could send Choo to Triple-A Round Rock on a medical rehabilitation assignment, with the final test showing that he can go nine innings in back-to-back games. He is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring, an injury that occurred in his first game back after missing 40 days with a strained right calf.

Choo exits, Mazara goes to right

"We want to make sure his lower half his healthy," manager Jeff Banister said. "We want to test it enough so we feel comfortable with the hamstring and the calf."

Banister: Profar needs to play
Second baseman Rougned Odor returns on Saturday from his seven-game suspension. At that point, Jurickson Profar will either go back to Round Rock or sit on the Rangers' bench as a utility player. It appears the Rangers want him playing regularly at Triple-A.

Profar's solo homer

"I'm not ready to call him a utility player," Banister said. "I don't want to under-develop the guy. I want him to continue to play."

Banister said Profar would have to play a minimum of four games a week to stay sharp at the big league level. That would be hard to do with Odor and Elvis Andrus playing regularly.

Owen possible candidate for UT
Rangers third-base coach Spike Owen's name has surfaced as a candidate to be the next baseball coach at the University of Texas, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Texas is looking for a coach after Augie Garrido was reassigned earlier this week.

"I would definitely be interested," Owen said Wednesday.

Owen, a native of Cleburne, was an All-American at the University of Texas in 1981-82 before spending 13 years in the Major Leagues. He spent the last seven years as a Minor League coach, instructor and manager before joining the Major League staff this season as third-base coach while Tony Beasley undergoes treatment for rectal cancer.

Rangers beat
• Catcher Robinson Chirinos, on the disabled list because of a fractured right forearm, is also going to Arizona this weekend because of the threat of bad weather in Texas this week. He will also play in extended spring training games.

• Catcher Bobby Wilson was back in the lineup on Wednesday after missing three games with a minor physical issue. Said Wilson: "Just a little fatigue. Just kind of upper body stuff going on. Something didn't feel right ... it's all good now."

• Outfielder Ian Desmond was named the Rangers Player of the Month for May after hitting .345 with 19 runs scored, 11 doubles, four home runs and 22 RBIs.

Sam Dyson led the Majors with 17 appearances in May. It's the third most in a month for a Rangers pitcher. Dale Mohorcic had 19 and Mitch Williams had 18 -- both in August 1986.

• Outfielder Drew Stubbs remains limited in his baseball activities because of his sprained toe on his left foot. Stubbs is not to the point where he can run full speed and play in games.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. 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.