Choo settling in after third trip to disabled list

Choo settling in after third trip to disabled list

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers made big moves at the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, but an important addition came internally in outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.

Choo was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Aug. 4 after dealing with lower back inflammation, his third stint on the DL this season. He's missed 67 games this year dealing with the back injury, along with a right calf strain and right shoulder stiffness.

He said before Saturday night's game against the Tigers that he's starting to settle in health-wise and hasn't felt any lingering issues from the trio of injuries.

"I'm always comfortable at the plate, and now I'm just healthy. I know some days you can help the team, some days you can't. I've experienced that during my three times on the DL this year," Choo said. "To be able to play every day and stay healthy is the bottom line still. I'm just comfortable, having fun, and I feel I can play at my best every at-bat, every game."

Since being activated from the DL, Choo and newly acquired Carlos Beltran have alternated between right field and designated hitter. All three of Choo's starts at designated hitter this season have come in that span.

"I haven't seen anything that's hampering at all, and he hasn't said anything that gives me indication that there's an issue," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We've been able to get him some DH time, that's been helping out. We've also got some days off coming up. But really haven't had any issues."

Choo was a crucial piece in the Rangers' run to the American League West title last season. He had a .343/.455/.560 batting line to go along with 11 home runs and 44 RBIs in the second half.

He's been a key contributor at the leadoff spot as the Rangers find themselves in another pennant race this season. Entering Saturday's game, he had hit safely in seven of nine games since being activated on Aug. 4 and had a .373 on-base percentage in 36 starts out of the leadoff spot this season.

"Sometimes I get aggressive early in the game. Sometimes I take a lot of pitches. It depends on who's pitching and what the situation is," Choo said. "It doesn't matter if it is a hit or something else, my goal is to get on base at least two times every game."

Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.