Smolinski leads Rangers' winter ball parade
ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Jake Smolinski will get about a one-week break when the season ends. Then he will head to winter ball, playing for Obregon in the Mexican League.
Smolinski missed almost two months of this season because of a fractured bone in his left foot, and he was activated only for the final two weeks of the season. Playing winter ball will help make up for lost time and at-bats. He chose Mexico for a reason.
"The Dominican and Venezuela are more fastballs and velocity," Smolinski said. "That will be good for me to see and hit that kind of [offspeed] pitching."
Outfielder Daniel Robertson played at Obregon last year. He was hoping to return this winter, but that fell through. He is hoping to find another place to play.
"I was hoping to be Jake's tour guide," Robertson said.
Outfielder Jim Adduci is considering the possibility of playing winter ball, but not until the second half. Adduci returned to the Rangers' lineup on Saturday after missing a month because of a concussion, but he doesn't want to rush off to winter ball. He also is not fully recovered from a fractured left pinky finger that sidelined him for three months.
Outfielder Michael Choice was planning on playing winter ball, but that was scratched because of his pulled left hamstring. The Rangers don't want Choice pushing it just to play winter ball and would rather he concentrate on getting healthy.
The Rangers will be well-represented in Venezuela's winter league. Infielders Luis Sardinas and Rougned Odor are planning to play there, along with catcher Tomas Telis. Catcher Robinson Chirinos said he hasn't decided yet if he'll play.