Wash stays patient, keeps Choice in lineup

Wash stays patient, keeps Choice in lineup

MINNEAPOLIS -- Rangers rookie outfielder Michael Choice was 1-for-5 on Sunday and he went into the four-game series against the Twins hitting .196 with a .299 slugging percentage. But the only hit was a home run off of Tigers starter Justin Verlander that put the Rangers ahead for good in a 12-4 victory.

So manager Ron Washington stays patient with Choice and he was back in the lineup on Monday playing left field. Shin-Soo Choo remained at designated hitter for a second straight game while dealing with a sore left ankle.

"Choice is going to have issues but he's also going to show flashes of what he can do," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Once the kid gains some confidence and works through some things, that's what it is about. He's a young guy and we have confidence in him, so I'll keep putting him out there. Right now he's getting some time.

"I'm going to keep putting him out there. He's going to have issues just like [Rougned] Odor is going to have issues. Most young guys are going to have issues. As much as you want them to be there, they're not. You've got to be patient. They show flashes and you hope the flashes become more consistent. When they do, we'll have the guys we want them to be."

Choice started the season playing mainly against left-handers. But with Prince Fielder out for the season and Mitch Moreland playing every day at first base, the Rangers need Choice in the lineup against all pitchers, either in left field or designated hitter. The other option is using Donnie Murphy at designated hitter against right-handed pitchers and he was 2-for-3 with a big home run on Saturday with Rick Porcello on the mound for the Tigers.

"I feel fine … I feel good," Choice said. "I'm just kind of feeling through some pitchers I have never seen before but as far as physically, I feel good at the plate."

Choice is one of 11 rookies used by the Rangers this year, the most by any team in the Major Leagues.

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.