SAN DIEGO -- Shin-Soo Choo, who missed Monday's game with a minor sprain of his left ankle, returned to the Reds' lineup on Tuesday against the Padres. But things weren't all back to normal. Not only did Choo not lead off as usual, he wasn't in center field either.
Choo played left field for the first time this season and batted second, to keep his bat in the struggling lineup while also giving his sore leg somewhat of a break.
"It's less running, and this is Yellowstone National Park out here," manager Dusty Baker said. "We need some good, fresh legs. Hopefully he can do some damage on offense and we can get [Chris] Heisey in the game late."
Choo has not appeared in left field since playing 20 games there for the Indians in 2009.
"It's a matter of doing what you can do to win the game," Baker said. "Anybody that's been on a championship team knows you have to overextend sometimes, especially this time of year when very few people are 100 percent. If they are, they haven't played much. I discussed it with Mr. Choo. He's played [all outfield spots]."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.