Michael Choice: Routine key to consistency

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Texas Rangers outfielder Michael Choice knows that if he's to continue to make progress toward a sustained big league career, he must build off the consistency that he found in 2013.

So what's the best way to do that? Stick to a routine.

"Last year I didn't have down and up and up and down," Choice said. "I had a routine that helped me maintain things. It's helped me stay successful. I'm trying to roll that over."

Choice said he spent a lot of time trying to figure out which routine would work best. He finally stumbled upon it last year. Part of the problem may have been he was working too hard for too long before games were played in the past.

"You can get tired if it's too much and you have to be sure you sustain energy for the whole season," Choice said. "You have to get your work in and not kill yourself at the same time."

That included balancing when he would do early work and how much time he'd spend in the cages. Now, he's got the schedule the way he wants it and plans to stick to it, from working out to eating to stretching for the games.

The comfort of the routine can also help Choice as he gets used to a new team and new surroundings after an offseason trade from the Oakland A's.

"I look at this as a new opportunity to excel in my career and help this team win," Choice said. "I have to go in Day 1 and prove that I can be ready to help right away. So I felt like I needed to start earlier and be ready."

Manager Ron Washington is curious to see what Choice is all about and doesn't want him putting any added pressure on himself.

"I just want him to go out there and play his game and whatever that is, I'll get a chance to see it," Washington said. "I've seen him play two ballgames at the big league level, but he had just gotten there. I'm not judging that. I want him to be relaxed. I want him to be comfortable."

Choice says he feels good physically and mentally and is looking forward to competing for a spot on the team.

"I'm going to work hard and see what happens," Choice said. "If you stay within yourself and believe in your ability, good things can happen."