Oakland A’s: Time to consider tightening the leash on Elvis Andrus
By David Hill
Elvis Andrus holds an enviable position on the Oakland A’s. He is one of the few players without a real threat to his job security, especially with Chad Pinder on the Injured List. Vimael Machin could, in theory, play at short, but he has not exactly proven that he can hit at the major league level. Andrus is safe at short for now.
But one has to wonder how long that will be the case. Andrus has not exactly lit up the box score during his time in Oakland, producing a .156/.204/.189 batting line in his 96 plate appearances, with just three doubles and three steals. While he is drawing the occasional walk and making contact at a solid rate, he has done nothing when putting the ball into play.
Time to consider tightening the leash on Elvis Andrus
Andrus is essentially a stopgap for the A’s. Although he is signed through next year, the sense was that he was keeping the seat warm for either Nick Allen or Logan Davidson, whichever is ready first. As neither had played above A ball, Andrus does not have to worry about fending off a challenge from either youngster just yet.
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But that is not necessarily going to be the case. Allen’s glove is major league ready, and has been since he was drafted out of high school. The question has been whether or not he could hit at a respectable enough rate where he would be more than a defensively oriented utility infielder in Oakland.
The 2021 season will be key in determining Allen’s future. He and Davidson are expected to open the season at Double-A, the first real testing ground for prospects. If either Allen or Davidson prove they can hit at that level, a promotion to Triple-A, and consideration for a trek to the majors, may not be too far behind.
Obviously, it will take time for either Allen or Davidson to be a viable threat to Andrus. This gives him plenty of time to get his bat going once again, but he needs to take advantage of that opportunity. Otherwise, the A’s may need to consider giving Machin more of a look at short while hoping the kids will be ready soon.
Elvis Andrus has not performed for the Oakland A’s thus far. It is time to consider tightening the leash and to look at other possible options.