When the Texas Rangers gave Shin-Soo Choo a huge seven-year, $130 million deal they did so thinking he'd be one of the league's most effective leadoff men like he was for the Cincinnati Reds in 2013. And for about a month and a half this year, he was just that.
Then, Choo rolled his ankle and he's been dealing with the nagging injury ever since, avoiding the DL to instead play through it. At this point, the Rangers just have to hope his struggles have been a result of that and not a huge decline in play at age 32.
And boy, has Choo struggled.
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In the past seven games, he has 14 strikeouts, and now his season total is at 100 when he's hitting in the leadoff spot, which leads all of baseball among leadoff hitters. The Rangers record for a leadoff hitter striking out is 105, which is shared by Oddibe McDowell (1986) and David Dellucci (2005). Since that ankle injury in Oakland back in late-April, Choo is batting .227 with a .320 on-base percentage. Those aren't numbers anywhere near those expected of a guy making an average of $18 million a year.
Choo is about to set a dubious club record, and there's still a month and a half left in the season. Maybe he'll reconsider that DL stint soon, after all.