Choo on mission to get ready for postseason

Rangers outfielder heads to Instructional League to compile at-bats

Choo on mission to get ready for postseason

OAKLAND -- Shin-Soo Choo has left the Rangers and is headed to Arizona for three days of Instructional League.

Choo is recovering from a broken left forearm and the Rangers want to find out if he can be ready for the postseason. Choo is hoping to play as soon as Friday against the Rays, but the Rangers are waiting to see how he performs in Instructional League games.

Choo will bat leadoff in every inning and play the outfield.

"The plan is to start with three days and then we'll make a decision," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "It's probably a little more accelerated situation. We don't have a lot of time. He is going to have to get as many at-bats as he can."

Choo is one reason Banister said setting the postseason roster will be "extremely challenging." The Rangers still have decisions to make on reliever Tony Barnette, who has been sidelined for three weeks with a strained muscle in his left side, and Jeremy Jeffress, who hasn't pitched in a game since Aug. 23 while dealing with personal issues. The Rangers are also using the final week to see if Derek Holland can pitch out of the bullpen.

"It's about putting feelings aside and putting the best 25 out there going forward who will give us the best opportunity in all situations," Banister said. "It's about winning a series."

The Rangers also have to decide when Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish will make their next start. Normally Hamels would start Wednesday and Darvish on Friday. But the Rangers are concerned about a long layoff before their first two postseason games on Oct. 6-7. They may push both back to the final weekend.

"We want to keep them active and as sharp as we can," Banister said.

Nadel pays tribute to Scully

Eric Nadel, who has been broadcasting Rangers games since 1979, was among many in the industry who paid tribute to Dodgers announcer Vin Scully, who is working his final home game Sunday.

Nadel grew up in Brooklyn as a Dodgers fan and that's where he first listened to Scully broadcast a game.

"Vin Scully has set the standard to which I have always aspired, knowing that I never will," Nadel said. "His use of the language is unparalleled and he is still coming up with new ways of describing things. I pick up something new virtually every time I listen to him.

"On top of everything else, Vin's calls of 23 no-hitters and three perfect games have shattered the myth of play-by-play announcers jinxing a pitcher by telling listeners that a no-hitter is in progress. Thanks, Vin, there is no way the rest of us can ever sufficiently express our gratitude for all you have shown us."

Rangers beat

• Shortstop Elvis Andrus, who had the day off Sunday, is hitting .380 with runners in scoring position. That's the highest average in Major League Baseball.

• Andrus also leads the Rangers with a .299 batting average. The last time the Rangers did not have a .300 hitter was in 2000 when Luis Alicea led the team with a .294 average.

• Darvish struck out nine batters Saturday, the 43rd time he has done that in his Rangers career. The club record is 45 by Nolan Ryan.

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.