SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Brandon Boggs started in left field for the Rangers on Saturday against the Dodgers. This was the first time he has been in the starting lineup in a Cactus League game this spring. It's another step in his recovery from the chronic problems in his left shoulder that kept him from being a bigger factor for the Rangers last season and ultimately required surgery. "It's been pretty tough," Boggs said. "When you have surgery to reattach your shoulder, it's hard to snap your fingers and get back to where you left off. It's a process."
Boggs played a significant role for the Rangers in 2008, a switch-hitter with both power and speed. He hit .226 but with 30 runs scored, 17 doubles, eight home runs and 41 RBIs in 283 at-bats. That's about a half-season's worth of at-bats. "We've always liked Brandon," Rangers manager Jon Daniels said. "He's always had quality at-bats, and he can play all three outfield spots." But his shoulder has been a problem for years and finally caught up with him last season. He had decent numbers at Triple-A Oklahoma City, but was just 1-for-17 in a limited stay with the Rangers in May. On July 3, he finally went on the disabled list for a couple of weeks and hit .241 in his final 41 games when he returned. By then, Julio Borbon had soared past him among the Rangers' outfielder prospects. Boggs was not a September callup. Instead, the club called up Craig Gentry and Boggs had surgery on Oct. 9 to repair his dislocated left shoulder. "When you start catching routine fly balls and your shoulder is popping out, it's time to do something about it," Boggs said.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.