Choo aggravates rib cage, finished for season
Indians outfielder was making return after 18-day absence
ARLINGTON -- Outfielder Shin-Soo Choo's return to the Indians' lineup after an 18-day absence Thursday night was short-lived.
Choo left Thursday's 7-4 loss to the Texas Rangers in the second inning with left rib cage aggravation. After the game, Indians manager Manny Acta said Choo was done for the season. Choo played in only 85 games this season, batting .259 with eight home runs and 36 RBIs.
Choo, who had been on the 15-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, batted third in the Indians' lineup and took two awkward-looking swings in an at-bat that ended with a groundout to first base in the top of the first. He was replaced in the bottom of the second by Ezequiel Carrera.
"I felt it after the first swing and miss," Choo said. "Then I fouled the second pitch off of my foot, and I felt it worse."
Choo said before the game that he was close to 100 percent. Acta reiterated after the game that Choo had been swinging and throwing with zero pain for five straight days. That, of course, didn't last for one inning.
Choo, who has been out since Aug. 28, said before the game that he wasn't feeling any pain when he threw or swung a bat, but he did acknowledge there is some discomfort.
"It's just not normal like on the other side," Choo said. "There's something in there."
Acta had said that the plan was to try and play Choo, who averaged 150 games the last two seasons, as much as possible the last two weeks of the season. Choo had shown tremendous potential the last two seasons, averaging 21 home runs and 88 RBIs. He fell well below that in a season that is now over.
Choo said before Thursday's game that he never considered shutting it down with only 15 games remaining. He did say he didn't want an injury to end his season, and that he would be cautious. But in the end, it wasn't meant to be.
"A lot of people say, 'Just take care of your body and make sure you're 100 percent,'" Choo said before the game. "My goal is to finish the season in the field, not with an injury. That's my goal even with one game left, even if today was the last game, if I still feel good, then play.
"I want to play hard and show my teammates that I'm healthy. Play every game and try to win. That's my job."
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.