Pregame notes: Ankle bothering Choo

HOUSTON – Texas Rangers left fielder Shin-Soo Choo continues to struggle with an ankle sprain that has bothered him since April.

“Every day feels different,” said Choo, who played right field Friday night against the Houston Astros but moved to designated hitter and led off Saturday. “Some days it feels really good, and some days it feels really icky.”

Choo said he should have taken some time off when the injury first occurred, but he tried to battle through it. It has affected his ability to move around the outfield and swing the bat.

Choo's down season could be attributed to his health issues. Choo, who entered Saturday hitting .241 overall with a .345 OBP, is batting just .202 over his previous 57 games. He has just one home run and five RBIs over the past 29.

Manager Ron Washington said Choo could be removed for a defensive replacement late in games. Choo was replaced in Friday’s game by Jim Adduci in the eighth inning.

Choo has played the field in just 10 of the past 24 games. Washington also wants to see Daniel Robertson and Adduci play more in left field as an audition of sorts to compete for an outfield gig next year.

Washington said if not for the ankle problem, Choo’s mobility in the outfield wouldn’t be an issue.

“The ankle probably had a lot to do with his takeoff with his starting and stopping,” Washington said. “We get that ankle healthy [and] you definitely will see a different Choo in the outfield.”

Rios back Sunday: Right fielder Alex Rios, who isn't in the lineup Saturday but was available to pinch hit Friday, is expected to play Sunday in the finale of the three-game set with the Astros.

Rios was given a few days off to rest a balky right ankle, which he originally sprained last month in Toronto. Rios underwent treatment rather than doing running exercises so he could get closer to 100 percent.

Base hits: Left-hander Derek Holland is scheduled to throw 60 pitches in his rehab start in Double-A Frisco on Saturday night. … Catcher Chris Gimenez cleared waivers and is still trying to decide if he should return to the Rangers organization. Washington said the club would like to have him back. ... Robinson Chirinos will catch Sunday starter Nick Martinez.