With the return of Matt Harrison to the starting rotation Sunday, a roster move was necessary. The Rangers optioned infielder Luis Sardinas back to double-A Frisco, where he began the season before his April 19 call-up in the wake of Jim Adduci's injury.
The club could've placed outfielder Shin-Soo Choo on the disabled list, as he is still nursing an ankle injury and has experienced pain while running over the weekend. Choo has been out of the starting lineup since April 22.
Michael Choice has done an adequate job filling in for Choo, as he has hit in four of five games and driven in a run in each of the last four entering Sunday's contest. Choice, who hadn't hit leadoff since his freshman year of college at UTA, has drawn four walks - taking a page out of Choo's book - since April 22.
But the move to option a healthy Sardinas, who adds value with his speed, rather than place Choo on the DL indicates that the last thing the team wants is to lose its leadoff man for 15 days.
Placing Adrian Beltre on the disabled list, apparently against his will, was the conservative and probably correct move for the team. Not that the club is looking to rush Choo back from his injury, but the decision to keep him off the DL for now could be a sign that the Rangers are getting sick of losing players to injury.
They certainly can't be blamed. With Harrison's departure from the list, Texas still has 12 players on the DL.
Even if the club waits on Choo, his DL assignment will be retroactive to April 22. Which means he will be available to come off on May 6, should he be placed on the disabled list without playing in another game.
It certainly appears, though, that the front office is couting on seeing Choo back in left field before the sixth of May. Whether its educated optimism or purely wishful thinking, it's no surprise the team is trying to avoid losing Choo for a couple weeks.
The original intention for Sardinas was likely to have him on the big league squad for five days before Beltre was activated Friday, but Kevin Kouzmanoff's trip to the DL left the roster spot open. Returning to a role in which he can play every day in Frisco will behoove Sardinas, as well.