7/21/2014 11:30 P.M. ET
Ankle sprain improving, Choo back in outfield
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
NEW YORK -- Shin-Soo Choo was back in the outfield for the Rangers on Monday night for the first time since July 9. He is still dealing with a sprained left ankle but wants to play in the outfield as much as possible for the rest of the season.
"I want to push it in the second half and find out," Choo said. "I don't want to play the second half like I played the first half."
Choo, who went into Monday's game against the Yankees hitless in his last 21 at-bats, sprained the ankle on April 21 in Oakland and has been dealing with pain since then. He now says he made a mistake by not going on the disabled list when the injury occurred.
"I made a bad decision," Choo said. "I should have had more rest instead of trying to come back as soon as possible."
With Alex Rios sidelined due to a sprained right ankle, Choo started in right field on Monday for the first time this season. Rangers manager Ron Washington used Choo at designated hitter for the last four games before the All-Star break and the three games in Toronto following the break to give Choo's ankle time to heal.
"It made my ankle feel better, but it's still not really comfortable," Choo said.
Washington said he used Choo in right field because at Yankee Stadium, there is less ground to cover in right field than left. But Washington said that when Rios returns to the lineup later this week, Choo will return to left field.
Soto, Smolinski exit early after sparking rally
NEW YORK -- The Rangers scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning of their 4-2 win over the Yankees on Monday night but lost two players during the rally. Both are hoping their injuries are not serious.
Geovany Soto left the game with tightness in his right groin muscle. Soto had the big hit of the inning with a game-tying single, but he felt the muscle tighten up later in the inning when he crossed home plate while scoring on Shin-Soo Choo's single.
"Hopefully it is just a little tightness," said Soto, who was starting for the third time in four games since being activated from the disabled list. Soto was sidelined for the first half of the season after undergoing surgery on his right knee. He was replaced in the bottom of the sixth by Robinson Chirinos, who was doing much of the Rangers' catching while Soto was out.
Jake Smolinski started the rally with a two-out single off Yankees starter Shane Greene, but not before fouling a pitch off his left foot. Smolinski stayed in the game and reached on an infield single in the seventh, but he did not bat in the ninth when his spot came up again because the foot was so sore.
"I was hoping it would get better, but instead it got worse," Smolinski said.
Smolinski underwent X-rays that were negative, and he is day to day.
Rangers activate Adduci from DL, option West
NEW YORK -- Jim Adduci was activated from the disabled list on Monday and immediately added to the Rangers' lineup against the Yankees, starting in left field. Manager Ron Washington said Adduci will be used both in the outfield and at first base.
"Stay healthy and play, and we'll see what he can do," Washington said. "Before he was hurt, he was doing really good. He has had enough rest, so he should be really strong."
Washington said that Adduci, a left-handed hitter, could platoon at first base with J.P. Arencibia once Alex Rios is back in the lineup. Washington said there will also be times when Adduci and Arencibia will both be in the lineup, as they were on Monday.
Adduci was 6-for-13 with three RBIs in nine games after making the Rangers out of Spring Training as a reserve outfielder. He sustained a fractured little finger on his left hand on April 17 and was sidelined until June 3. He was sent on rehab assignment and played in five games before re-injuring the finger, thereby doubling the amount of time he missed.
It was valuable time missed. With all of the other injuries that have clobbered the Rangers, Adduci missed the same chance that catcher Robinson Chirinos has been getting to prove that he is more than a career Minor League player.
"I'm here now with a chance to play and show what I can do," Adduci said. "You just have to be patient through this type of injury. It was just a freakish thing."
To make room for Adduci, the Rangers optioned rookie right-hander Matt West back to Triple-A Round Rock. That leaves the club with seven relievers in the bullpen.
Rangers' pending transaction won't involve Rios
NEW YORK -- The Rangers will have to make a roster move on Tuesday to activate pitcher Nick Martinez from the disabled list so he can start against the Yankees. The Rangers currently have 11 active pitchers, including seven relievers, so manager Ron Washington said the club will have to part with a position player.
It won't be outfielder Alex Rios, even though he was out of the lineup on Monday for a second straight game with a sprained right ankle. The Rangers expect Rios to return to the lineup at some point during their four-game series with the Yankees, although it won't be until Wednesday at the earliest.
"I'm walking good, and I did a little running on the treadmill," Rios said. "I don't think this will keep me out long. I think I will be fine. I still have to take a few swings and see if the ankle doesn't get all twisted, but I'm optimistic."
With catcher Geovany Soto back in the lineup, the Rangers may have to make a decision on catcher Chris Gimenez. The club was hoping to keep Gimenez as a right-handed hitter off the bench when Soto came off the DL, but that may not be a luxury it can afford.
The other choices would be outfielders Jake Smolinski, who started at designated hitter on Monday, and Daniel Robertson. Both have options left, as opposed to Gimenez, who would have to clear outright waivers before being sent to the Minors.
• The Rangers are expected to face right-handers Jason Hammel on Friday and Sonny Gray on Saturday during this weekend's three-game series with the Athletics in Arlington. Hammel and Jeff Samardzija were acquired by the Athletics from the Cubs earlier this month. Left-hander Scott Kazmir will start for Oakland on Sunday.
• The Rangers will honor Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter before their July 30 game in Arlington. It will be Jeter's final game in Texas.
• First-base coach Bengie Molina returned to the Rangers on Monday after missing the club's three-game series with the Blue Jays for personal reasons.
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.