Shin-Soo Choo to undergo season-ending bone spur surgery on elbow

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First Yu Darvish, now this. Capping off a disappointing first year with the Rangers, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is headed for season-ending surgery to remove a bone spur from his left elbow.

There were big expectations when the Rangers signed Choo to a seven-year, $130 million contract over the winter, but he ended up posting career-worsts across the board, with a .242/.340/.374 batting line to go along with 13 home runs and 40 RBI over 123 games. Some of the struggles can be blamed on an early-season ankle injury and Wilson writes that Choo has been dealing with the bone spur since spring training. It’s been that kind of year for the Rangers.

Choo still got on base at a good clip this year and it’s fair to expect better production with improved health, but he turns 33 next July and still has $116 million coming his way through 2020.

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.