Rangers hopeful OF Shin-Soo Choo rejoins team for playoffs

The Texas Rangers could be getting a boost as outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, who has been sidelined since mid-August with a fractured left forearm, appears ready to rejoin the team for the playoffs.

Choo, who had surgery Aug. 16, has been facing live pitching in Arizona instructional league games and has five hits in 10 at-bats over two games. The Rangers are hoping he will be able to play the final series of the regular season against the Tampa Bay Rays.

"We've got a decision to make if he's able to make it through and whether or not we feel like he's up to speed and ready to go," Rangers manager Jeff Banister told reporters Tuesday. "We want him to be because he's a quality player."

The Rangers (93-65) have the best record in the American League through Tuesday's games.

The Rangers signed Carlos Gomez after Choo went down and have put him in the leadoff spot, along with Nomar Mazara and Delino DeShields. Choo remains the Rangers' best leadoff option with a .362 OBP when batting at the top of the order.

"I think we all know that Choo, when it comes to seeing the baseball, swinging the bat, he seems to make progress fairly quickly," Banister said. "I'm pleased. This is going to come down to whether he can he handle the actual load of work."

It has been a frustrating season for Choo, who has made four trips to the disabled list and has been limited to 45 games, posting a .247 batting average.