- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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HOUSTON -- Texas Rangers outfielder Alex Rios is expected to miss the next two games with a sprained right ankle. Rios, who first injured the ankle July 19 at Toronto, wants to be as close to 100 percent as possible and could use the break.
Of course, Rios has also been the subject of persistent trade rumors. He cleared waivers Thursday and could still be dealt if a trade partner can be found. But he's not worried about all that talk.
"I'm not talking about trades right now, unless something happens," Rios said. "If there's a trade, then I'll address that situation. As of right now, I'm still a Ranger and I'm here to do what I have to do, and I will address that if something happens."
The Rangers have a $13.5 million club option on Rios with a $1 million buyout clause. Rios does have six clubs he can veto a deal to: the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, New York Yankees and Oakland Athletics.
Soto's absence for much of the season has allowed Robinson Chirinos to become pretty much the full-time man behind the plate. Manager Ron Washington said no final decision has been made regarding how he will divvy up playing time between his catchers.
"Let's let this play out," Washington said. "We have to see where (Soto) is before I start to say what's about to happen. Robinson Chirinos will catch. He's been doing good, and you have to give him credit for his improvement. He's been doing a good job."
Expect Soto to catch the next two games with Chirinos getting Sunday's start.
"Robinson Chirinos has earned what he is," Washington said.
Base Hits: Washington said the club is hopeful RHP Jerome Williams will be back up with the Rangers at some point. He was designated for assignment onFriday. ... LF Shin-Soo Choo is hitting just .196 the last 56 games and has seen his overall batting average drop from .289 to .238. "He's just missing pitches," Washington said. "He had a couple of real good swings in Chicago, but for the most part, I see him missing his pitches." ... 1B J.P. Arencibia is hitting .302 over the last 12 games. His batting average has improved from .136 to .194.