MLB Today: Elvis Andrus Clinging to a Job
The cheers are few and far between for Elvis Andrus these days. (Tim Heitman-USA Today Sports)
The other day we were perusing the career numbers of three-time All-Star and two time Silver Slugger shortstop Garry Templeton. And when we got to his similarity scores as per Baseball-Reference, who should be at the top of the list?
None other than current Oakland A’s shortstop Elvis Andrus.
The 33-year-old has kind of been in decline since injuries first cropped up in 2018. The following season he bounced back somewhat thanks to being healthier (although did require an IL stint in May), but oh my, did the wheels ever come off in 2020.
Following that season, Texas went into rebuild mode and traded long-time fan fave Andrus to AL West rival Oakland, where he recovered from a counting cat standpoint last year. This year, that bounce back has continued as he’s again been healthy and, although he’s not hitting quite as well, his walk rate and extra-base pop have been much better. On D, Andrus is still capable of stopping runners from advancing, by whatever means necessary (see video below).
Still, is Oakland — in full on rebuild mode — doing the organization a service by trotting him out there every day? At this point, Andrus is really only rosterable in deeper AL-only leagues, and with prospect Nick Allen shaking off a May slump and batting .429 at Triple-A this month, is it time for a change of guard?
Andrus simply is no longer very productive, and steals too few bases to be a difference maker in that regard. Assume that the clock is ticking here…
- The big news on Monday was that Ozzie Albies busted his foot, thrusting Orlando Arcia back into a useful Fantasy asset for the time being. Arcia showed some speed potential in his first full season, but has never really built on it. Still, we love the elite walk rate he’s exhibited in a part-time role this year.
- In other injury news, Juan Soto (knee soreness) came out early on Monday. He’s going to be evaluated further on Tuesday, so keep your eyes on the wire for updates. Soto has been a frustration this season, and things seem to be getting worse. He’s only managed one multi-hit game in June, although he does continue to be a superb on-base asset. It’s also nice to see Soto doing a better job on the basepaths this year, but depending on the severity of this knee issue, that could change.
- So… how’s Freddie Freeman Dodger debut going? Well, with a wRC+ of 131, he’s performing just about as expected, but he hasn’t been as productive as you’d hope (he’s only driven in five runs this month after coming up huge in May). Freeman has remained healthy, building on his recent run of durability, and he’s on pace for a new career high in steals. The rest of his numbers are down, however.
RotoRob Tune of the Day
American rock band Steely Dan is one of the most underrated acts ever, for our money. In 1972, they released their classic debut album Can’t Buy a Thrill, and the B side from their first ever single (“Reeling in the Years”) was “Only a Fool Would Say That,” a personal fave.