Rangers demote slumping Choice in flurry of moves

The Texas Rangers are sending struggling rookie outfielder Michael Choice to Triple-A Round Rock and preparing to use their 12th starting pitcher this season.

Choice, who had a .177 average with eight homers, was demoted and infielder Donnie Murphy was designated for assignment Monday.

The Rangers brought up right-handed reliever Roman Mendez and outfielder Jake Smolinski from Round Rock, and both had a chance for their major-league debut in the series opener against Houston.

Rookie right-hander Nick Martinez was scratched from Tuesday's start because of discomfort in his back. He will be replaced by right-hander Phil Irwin, who made his only big-league appearance in a start for Pittsburgh last year.

The Rangers have 10 days to trade, release or outright Murphy to the minor leagues. He was hitting .196.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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