Choo's star continues to rise for Tribe

Choo's star continues to rise for Tribe

CLEVELAND -- Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is stating his case for more playing time.

Not just more playing time this season, but in 2009 as well.

"He not only has a chance to be an all-around player, he has a chance to be a complete player," Indians manager Eric Wedge said.

Choo has reached base safely in his last 21 games. He has four homers and 15 RBIs in that stretch, including a game-tying home run off Seattle closer J.J Putz in the ninth inning Saturday. Choo worked the count to 3-2 before crushing a pitch over the center-field fence and into the Indians' bullpen.

The Indians weren't sure what they would get from Choo, who two months into this season was still working his way back from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow.

"We didn't know what to expect from him," Wedge said. "Considering what he's had to deal with, he's come a long way."

Choo had the surgery last September and was about a month behind the rest of the team in Spring Training. He remained in Winter Haven, Fla., for extended work when camp broke, getting his arm in shape to make throws from the outfield.

Choo played on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Buffalo and joined the Indians on May 30. He entered Sunday with 23 doubles and eight homers in 228 at-bats before homering in the second inning, and he has definitely shown enough to get consideration for significant playing time next season.

"He's been very consistent," Wedge said. "He has shown ability to square up the ball and has put together good at-bats."

Steve Herrick is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.