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Washington trying to get Choice on track

Special to MLB.com

ARLINGTON -- Having started two games this year and entered late in four more, rookie outfielder Michael Choice has had to bide most of his time this season on the bench. So far that role hasn't been kind to him: he singled in his first at-bat for the Rangers on Opening Day and is 0-for-11 since then.

Choice had a great spring, hitting .369 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 28 games, but is hitting .083 in the regular season.

Full Game Coverage

ARLINGTON -- Having started two games this year and entered late in four more, rookie outfielder Michael Choice has had to bide most of his time this season on the bench. So far that role hasn't been kind to him: he singled in his first at-bat for the Rangers on Opening Day and is 0-for-11 since then.

Choice had a great spring, hitting .369 with five homers and 17 RBIs in 28 games, but is hitting .083 in the regular season.

Full Game Coverage

So Ron Washington is doing two things to help Choice find his way. First, the Rangers manager is giving Choice more playing time (he has started the last two games in which he played, and is expected to start Sunday.) Second, Washington is working with the 24-year-old to accustom him to the routine of a player who will predominantly come off the bench late in games.

"We're doing everything we can," Washington said. "Trying to keep his mind clear and relaxed, trying to keep him working, trying to keep him in a routine, trying to give him a heads-up when I think he should be getting loose in the dugout. … Hit in the cage, stretch, that's usually every game in the fifth or sixth inning, I tell him to start moving and get going. That's a routine he has to perfect."

Washington said the right-handed Choice will continue to see more time against left-handed pitchers (like Sunday's Astros starter, Brett Oberholtzer). And Washington was not about to ponder the idea of sending Choice down to the Minor Leagues -- though Choice does have options left and players returning from injuries will necessitate some roster moves in the near future.

"I haven't had a conversation going in that direction yet," Washington said.

Dave Sessions is a contributor to MLB.com.

 

Texas Rangers, Michael Choice