4/22/2014 10:42 P.M. ET
Choice bats leadoff against former team
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
OAKLAND -- With outfield Shin-Soo Choo sidelined with a sprained left ankle, Michael Choice moved into the leadoff spot for the Rangers on Tuesday night with left-hander Tommy Milone on the mound for the Athletics.
"I wanted to keep everybody else together so I put Michael up top," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "He can see pitches. He can get lucky with one swing of the bat and get us a run. I wanted to keep everybody else where they are so as I go through the lineup, I can maneuver."
The Rangers option was Leonys Martin, who had limited experience as a leadoff hitter last year and went into Tuesday's game with nine hits in his last 19 at-bats. But Washington didn't want Martin's left-handed bat at the top of the lineup with a left-hander on the mound for the Athletics.
No matter who Washington chooses, losing Choo would be another tough blow for a lineup that already has catcher Geovany Soto, second baseman Jurickson Profar and third baseman Adrian Beltre on the disabled list. Choo went into Tuesday's game hitting .314 with a .432 on-base percentage as a leadoff hitter that was the second highest among American League players with at least 10 games in that spot in the order.
His first-inning leadoff home run on Monday night was his 12th in the past three seasons, the most in the Major Leagues. Ian Kinsler and Coco Crisp both have nine. It was also the first time a Rangers player had hit a home run leading off in Oakland since Alfonso Soriano in 2004.
"He's one of the best leadoff hitters in the game," Washington said. "But the Texas Rangers, we're going to continue to fight."
Choo not headed to DL yet
OAKLAND -- Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is dealing with a sprained left ankle but is not going on the disabled list just yet. The Rangers, relieved that Choo is not dealing with a more serious high ankle sprain, are going to give him three days off and re-evaluate on Friday.
"These type of players, you want to give them every opportunity to play if the medical staff is hopeful that it won't be too long," Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine said. "We're hoping this is an indication we're headed in the right direction as far as the injuries. We were overdue for some good news from the medical staff. We feel optimistic Choo will be on the field soon."
Choo had to leave Monday's game in the seventh inning when he landed on first base at a bad ankle with his foot while trying to beat out an infield hit. He is not expected to play either Tuesday or Wednesday against the Athletics and the Rangers are off on Thursday. They open a three-game series with the Mariners on Friday in Seattle.
"We're treating this as day to day and we'll see where he is leading into the Seattle series," Levine said.
The Rangers did make a roster move on Tuesday. Pitcher Hector Noesi was designated for assignment to make room for Nick Martinez, who started on Tuesday night. That also opens up a spot on the 40-man roster if the Rangers want to call up an outfielder from Triple-A Round Rock. With Jim Adduci and Engel Beltre on the disabled list, the Rangers don't have another healthy outfielder on the 40-man roster besides what's already at the Major League level.
Bryan Petersen is hitting .270 with five home runs and 19 RBIs at Round Rock. He has a .337 on-base percentage and a .581 slugging percentage. Brad Snyder is hitting .270 with five home runs, 12 RBIs, a .357 on-base percentage and a .514 slugging percentage. Both could be options if the Rangers need an outfielder. Both are left-handed hitters.
Harrison ready to return on Friday
OAKLAND -- Matt Harrison made it through Tuesday's bullpen session without any issues and now awaits his next assignment.
The possibility exists he could return to the rotation on Friday in Seattle, but the Rangers haven't made any final decisions. Right now Colby Lewis is scheduled to pitch on Friday against the Mariners and Robbie Ross is scheduled for Saturday.
"But that's subject to change," manager Ron Washington said as the Rangers are waiting to see how Harrison recovers from his bullpen session.
The Rangers appear to be leaning toward Harrison starting on Friday. Lewis would follow on Saturday with Ross being pushed back to Sunday. That would mean Yu Darvish, Martin Perez and Lewis facing the Athletics during their three-game series that starts on Monday in Arlington. The Athletics are scheduled to pitch Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir and Jesse Chavez in that series.
Ross allowed seven runs in 5 1/3 innings in his last start against the White Sox on Sunday, but the Rangers aren't interested in skipping his turn in the rotation. He had a 1.00 ERA through his first three starts.
"He has been one of our better pitchers," Washington said. "We're not going to skip him all together."
Harrison won 18 games for the Rangers in 2012 and was their Opening Day pitcher in 2013. But he was shut down after two starts because of a herniated disk in his lower back. He twice underwent surgery on April 23 and May 1 and did not return the rest of the year. He had an additional surgery on Sept. 9 on his right non-throwing shoulder to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome.
• Joe Saunders, on the disabled list with a bruised left ankle, has been able to throw regular bullpen sessions in Arizona but is still not been able to run at full speed or do significant fielding practice. Until he is able to do that, Saunders will not be ready to pitch on medical rehabilitation assignment.
• The Rangers and the Angels are the only two American League teams that haven't been shut out so far this season. The Rockies are the only National League team.
• Going into Tuesday's games, Rangers relievers had as many wins (6) as their starters.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.