Elvis Andrus suddenly heating up at the plate
By David Hill
May 6 could have been the low point for Elvis Andrus. After a 0-4 showing at the plate, the seventh time in his previous ten games that the Oakland A’s shortstop was held without a hit, he had a .143/.193/.171 batting line. As he had also been struggling defensively, it made no sense to keep Andrus in the lineup if the A’s had another viable option.
But the A’s kept the faith. This may have been, in part, due to no other choice; Vimael Machin was not producing either. Add in Andrus’ salary, and the A’s were not about to bench their starting shortstop. Andrus was going to produce or the A’s would go down with that ship.
Elvis Andrus heating up
Andrus has started to reward the A’s for their confidence. Since that performance on May 6, he has produced a .314/.360/.414 batting line in 75 plate appearances, hitting five doubles and a triple. He has made solid contact, striking out just 11 times, and has drawn five walks.
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He had already made his presence felt on the roster before the season began. Both Ramon Laureano and Matt Chapman had been picking Andrus’ brain in regards to baserunning, with Laureano, in particular, looking to improve his base stealing skills. As the A’s outfielder has eight steals already on the season, that has been a success.
This improved performance has included the defensive side. While he is still considered to have cost the A’s seven runs defensively on the year, Andrus has performed far better of late. Perhaps it is a matter of being comfortable in his new environment, or his improved offense helping all facets of his game, but Andrus is starting to be the player the A’s hoped for.
It remains to be seen if this will continue. Any player can get hot over a small sample size, and 75 plate appearances would certainly qualify. But for the A’s, it is a reason to hope. There is a chance that, even if Andrus does not become an All Star caliber player, he can be a respectable part in the lineup.
The Oakland A’s kept the faith with Elvis Andrus. He has begun to reward that confidence as his bat is heating up with the weather.