Elbow surgery ends disappointing season for Choo

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Elbow surgery ends disappointing season for Choo


Choo Shin-soo

Choo Shin-soo’s first season with the Texas Rangers has come to an end.

The Rangers announced on Monday local time that their star 32-year-old Korean outfielder will have surgery to remove a bone spur in his left elbow within the next two weeks and miss the remainder of the season.

Choo missed Sunday’s game against the Kansas City Royals and Monday’s game against the Seattle Mariners. The team said Michael Choice will replace Choo.

Choo felt some pain in his elbow in spring training camp and was sidelined for several preseason games in March. The Rangers said Choo will need about two months to fully recover from the surgery.

After signing a seven-year, $130 million deal with the Rangers in the offseason, Choo was expected to have a monster season, and he was hitting .370 with an on-base percentage (OBP) of .500 through May 8.

But after stepping on first base and spraining his left ankle against the Oakland Athletics on April 22, he hit just .179 in 26 games in June and .208 in July.

“He has been dealing with the elbow and the ankle all season,” Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels told the Dallas Morning News. “He’s a conscientious and caring player. It seemed like the more we struggled, the more pressure he put on himself. I know he’s got more in him than he showed this year. I feel good about him moving forward.”

Choo finished his season hitting .242 with 13 home runs, 40 RBIs, 58 runs scored and a .340 OBP.

Last season with the Cincinnati Reds, he hit .285 with 21 home runs and a .423 OBP, the second highest in the National League.

After he became injured, Choo missed five games and then returned to the lineup, even though he wasn’t fully healed because the Rangers already had several players out with injuries.

But it didn’t take long to see that Choo and Rangers Manager Ron Washington made a poor choice.

Earlier this month, Choo said he regretted continuing to play. “I obviously made a bad decision,” he said. “Since I was a player receiving a high salary, I felt like I needed to stay on the field for the team, which already had lost so many players at the beginning of the season … but nothing has been working out.”

BY kwon sang-soo [sakwon80@joongang.co.kr ]

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