MINNEAPOLIS -- For a day game after a night game, Shin-Soo Choo won the right to be the Rangers' designated hitter on Thursday afternoon. Manager Ron Washington also considered Adrian Beltre but Choo made the better case with his sore left ankle.
"I would have done Beltre, but Choo wanted a day," Washington said. "With the quick turnaround, he felt it was best for him to DH rather than go to the outfield. That blew it for Beltre."
Washington went into the season wanting to give Beltre more time at designated hitter to keep his legs fresh. That hasn't happened. Beltre has been used at designated hitter only once this season, and that was on April 8 against the Red Sox. That was the day he strained his left quad muscle and had to go on the disabled list.
Since his return on April 25, Beltre has started 31 straight games at third base. Washington admitted it was a concern not being able to give Beltre a day at designated hitter.
"It is, and I will," Washington said. "I'll have to start working it in. The way things have happened and trying to get everything going in the right direction, it has been hard to do. But we're only in the second month. I'll start doing it now that we've righted the ship."
Beltre went into the season more concerned about his hamstring muscles. It remains a day-to-day concern keeping his legs healthy.
"I know this is the first time I've had a quad injury, so I would have to nurse it," Beltre said. "Since I got back, it has been good enough."
And his legs overall?
"It depends on the day," Beltre said.
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.