Texas Rangers transactions: Outfielder Michael Choice has been optioned to AAA Round Rock by the Texas Rangers, and Donnie Murphy has been designated for assignment, per John Blake on Twitter.
Replacing Murphy on the 25 and 40 man roster is outfielder Jake Smolinski, whose contract has been purchased. Replacing Choice on the 25 man roster is righthanded pitcher Roman Mendez.
Choice, acquired from the Oakland A's this offseason in the deal that sent Craig Gentry and Josh Lindblom to Oakland, won a job on the Opening Day roster with a strong spring training, but has been brutal so far this season in the big leagues, putting up a .177/.247/.318 line in 219 plate appearances. He's been in an especially bad slump of late, and there's been an expectation he was going to end up getting sent down to Round Rock to try to get things figured out there.
Murphy was designated for assignment once before this season, and didn't really have a fit on the current roster, with Adam Rosales now up as the utility infielder.
Smolinski, 25, was a 2nd round draft pick of the Washington Nationals in the 2007 draft. He was signed as a minor league free agent during the offseason, and has spent most of the year in AA, though he was recently promoted to AAA Round Rock. He has a .267/.349/.459 slash line on the year.
Mendez, 23, is a righthanded pitcher who came over to Texas as part of the Jarrod Saltalamacchia trade. He has a 4.02 ERA in 31.1 innings this year, with 30 Ks and 12 walks. I'd assume he will be looked at as a middle reliever.