The Texas Rangers knew that outfielder Shin-Soo Choo would not make it through the season, but Monday's decision to place him on the 15-day disabled list and schedule a season-ending elbow surgery came sooner than expected.
Choo could go under the knife as soon as Friday as team doctors try to remove the bone spurs in his left elbow that have bothered him for most of the season. The Rangers planned to shut down Choo at some point to undergo the procedure, but the timing was accelerated when he could not make the trip to Seattle due to illness. Texas went ahead and placed him on the 15-day disabled list, effectively ending his season.
Choo struggled with ankle problems earlier in the year and never really found a rhythm. He hit .242 in 123 games with the Rangers this season, and his 13 home runs were his lowest total since he became a full-time player.
Injury problems were one of the major reasons for the Rangers' dismal season, but the struggles of Choo -- the major offseason addition not named Prince Fielder -- certainly were a factor.
Texas signed Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract, so getting his elbow right is more important than watching him struggle through the final few weeks of a lost season.
Even after a 2-0 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday gave the Rangers a rare two-game winning streak, Texas still owns the major league's worst record, 51-79.