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Rangers promote Choice, option Claudio

ARLINGTON -- Rangers outfielder Michael Choice said he's worked on his swing and has become more comfortable at the plate, and he could get a chance to show it in the Majors.

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The Rangers recalled Choice from Triple-A Round Rock on Wednesday and optioned left-handed pitcher Alex Claudio, who has a 2.87 ERA in 15 2/3 innings this season.

Choice entered Wednesday's 8-2 loss to the A's in the seventh inning and had a tough season debut. He let a sinking line drive get by him in right field for a two-base error in the eighth inning and he struck out swinging with two out and a runner on third in his only at-bat.

Choice -- a Fort Worth native and UT-Arlington product -- was hitting .242 with seven home runs and 33 RBIs for Round Rock this season. After a slow start, Choice has surged onto the scene in recent weeks. He hit .400 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in his last 11 games with the Express.

"As of lately, I've felt like normal at the plate and just kind of really gone back to some things that I did in the past, and things have been going really well," Choice said before Wednesday's game at Globe Life Park.

Choice entered Wednesday's game with a .188 average in 271 career Major League at-bats, and though his Major League experience is a plus, his callup could be temporary to provide an emergency option off the bench. Choice said he wasn't told what his role might be, and Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he wanted to be able to take a load off his position players with Shin-Soo Choo nursing back spasms and Adam Rosales dealing with an illness.

Claudio's demotion also limits the Rangers to a six-man bullpen, but Banister said the starting rotation has been strong enough to give the 'pen some protection. After a grueling past few weeks, Banister wanted to add support for his position players.

"More than anything, that's kind of a day-to-day process," Banister said. " ... We're gonna get [Choice] engaged if we can. He's here to add value. He's here to be a player. The significance is that he's Michael Choice, we're familiar, he has played better. So we're looking for Mike to come in just like anybody else and be one of 25 and add value when he's asked."

Worth noting
• Outfielder Delino DeShields could soon be ready for a Minor League rehab assignment. DeShields went on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring on June 15, but said he planned to run sprints on Wednesday. The Rangers haven't given DeShields any official plans, but he said he won't make the upcoming road trip to Toronto and hopes to be able to start a rehab assignment on Monday.

• Choo was out of the lineup for a second consecutive game. Banister said Choo is improving and would be available off the bench on Wednesday against the A's.

• Right-hander Luis Ortiz, the Rangers' 2014 first-round Draft pick, had an MRI on his right elbow on Tuesday that showed no ligament issues after he went on the disabled list at Class A Hickory. Ortiz has a strained flexor muscle and won't throw for three weeks before being reevaluated.

Cody Stavenhagen is an associate reporter for
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