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Endy Chavez makes his return to the bigs

ARLINGTON, Texas -- When the Rangers take the field in Game 2 of this three-game series with the Angels, Endy Chavez will be more than excited.

Chavez is starting in center field in place of Julio Borbon, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left hamstring inflammation, and hasn't played in the majors since June 19, 2009.

In his last game, Chavez, while playing center field for the Seattle Mariners, crashed into shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt's knee chasing a fly ball in the outfield. Chavez tore his right ACL and MCL and needed microfracture surgery to return. Chavez, a speedy outfielder with excellent range, hit .273 in 54 games for the Mariners before his injury.

Chavez signed with the Rangers in 2010 but didn't make the big league roster. He only played in eight minor league games while still recovering from surgery.

Chavez was a non-roster invitee this season and has received extensive time with Triple-A Round Rock. Before getting pulled out of Friday's game, Chavez was hitting .305 in 30 games with a .353 on base percentage for the Express.

"I was surprised because it was right after the first at-bat," Chavez said about coming out of Friday's game on. "I was like, 'What's going on? Why you pull me?' I was like, alright you're the boss."

There is some concern about Chavez's speed in the outfield, but Chavez said he still has some range to play out there and manager Ron Washington is confident in his abilities.

"He started getting stronger," Washington said of Chavez's time in Round Rock. "He's down there doing everything. Stealing bases (six), running well...before he got hurt he was a hot commodity. Rehabbing him and now he gets a chance to pay us back."