ARLINGTON -- The Rangers won a game on Monday but lost their leadoff hitter for what is likely the rest of the season.Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is going on the disabled list for the fourth time this season after getting hit by a pitch and suffering a fractured left forearm in
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers won a game on Monday but lost their leadoff hitter for what is likely the rest of the season.
Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is going on the disabled list for the fourth time this season after getting hit by a pitch and suffering a fractured left forearm in the Rangers' 5-2 victory over the Athletics.
The big blow on the field for the Rangers was a grand slam by Adrián Beltré. The big blow off it was Choo.
"Yeah, it's obviously very challenging news," manager Jeff Banister said. "From my vantage point, when he got hit, we obviously knew something was definitely wrong. I feel for Choo, fourth time this year, significant time on the disabled list. He's such a key part of the ballclub and the organization. You feel for him and it's obviously a gut punch … one we are going to be challenged with."
Choo is scheduled to meet with Dr. Keith Meister on Tuesday to see if surgery is necessary. The injury is similar to the forearm fracture catcher Robinson Chirinos suffered in April. He underwent surgery and missed two months.
The Rangers have called up outfielder Ryan Rua from Triple-A Round Rock to fill the roster spot, but they will miss Choo at the top of their lineup.
"He means a lot to us," shortstop Elvis Andrus said. "He sets the tone for our lineup. He is the perfect leadoff hitter. That's going to hurt our lineup, but we have to keep going. It's late in the season, we have to keep pushing. Somebody will step up for us."
The Rangers have used four different players in the leadoff spot, and -- entering Monday -- Choo led them with a .362 on-base percentage. Jurickson Profar was next with a .328 on-base percentage in the No. 1 spot and will likely get most of the playing time with Choo out, both in the outfield and at the top of the order. Delino DeShields, who was the Rangers' leadoff hitter at the beginning of the season, has a .319 on-base percentage at that spot, and Rougned Odor has a .259 average.
"It's a challenge not having Choo in the lineup, in the leadoff spot or not," Banister said. "Professional at-bat, ability to get on base, a power threat…it changes the structure of our lineup. We'll need to find somebody to solidify the leadoff spot."
Choo's injury started a big rally for the Rangers. They were trailing 2-1 going into the fifth when, with one out, he was hit by Athletics starter Ross Detwiler. The former Ranger's sinker was clocked at 87.8 mph.
"You never want to see anybody get hurt and have to be pulled out of the game, especially somebody you've played with, somebody that's your friend," Detwiler said. "You hate for that pitch to get away from you, and hopefully at the end of the day he's OK, but it's not a good sign when you get pulled out of the game."
Ian Desmond and Carlos Beltrán followed with a pair of singles to load the bases. That brought up Beltre, and he crushed a 2-1 pitch into the left-field seats for his 10th career grand slam to give the Rangers a 5-2 lead.
The Rangers have now won 12 of their last 18 games, but they are still absorbing the news about Choo.
"Tough luck for Choo," Beltre said. "He's been battling injuries all year. He had the calf injury, came back for a couple games, then got a hamstring injury, played for a couple games, and now this. He's big part of the top of this lineup.
"We're going to have to find guys to contribute and do the job for him. Hopefully it won't be that long, but we have the guys here to hold that spot until he gets back."
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.