Elvis Andrus, at 34 years old, is in his 15th Major League season. After an abysmal start this year, thoughts about him hanging his cleats up may begin to circle. Andrus is slashing .201/.280/.254, while tacking on one homerun and 13 RBI. According to Baseball Savant, Andrus has produced his lowest expected batting average, SLG, OBP, and wOBA of his career. Along with that, his K% sits at 17.2, another career low. A very disappointing season so far for Andrus. If it weren’t for injuries, Andrus very well may have been DFA’d already. With that being said, he still offers some positive attributes that don’t show up in the stat sheet.
Elvis Andrus’s Last Hurrah
Andrus is one of the older players on the Chicago White Sox, providing a leadership role on a fairly young ball club. He has a value that doesn’t appear on the stat sheet. Advice on getting out of a 14-28 hole will help cover up for his mishaps this season. Andrus and Yasmani Grandal are the only starting position players who are at least 30 years old. Especially for a team that has been forced to play several young guys, Andrus’ leadership and experience have been very important this year.
Many young players don’t have a schedule or routine, and not having one could lead to underwhelming play. A player like Andrus can help the young guys on the White Sox get into a routine or a pattern. This can help relieve stress and anxiety before games, which should improve the quality of play for young players. Andrus also shares his baseball knowledge with young players on the White Sox, helping them get a step ahead in avoiding mistakes to become better baseball players quicker.
The injury bug has yet again struck the White Sox. Eloy Jimenez, Billy Hamilton, Tim Anderson, Jake Burger, Liam Hendriks, Matt Foster, Garrett Crochet, Yoan Moncada, and Joe Kelly have all missed time this season. Andrus has been one of the few constants, ensuring himself playing time. However, even Andrus himself recently went on the 10-day IL for an oblique strain. It’s still early, but if the White Sox can’t get healthy and round into form by the All-Star break, it may be too late.
Long Road Ahead
The Southsiders must produce a comeback season to avoid another year of wasted talent. 4th place in an average division is not going to be acceptable for first-year manager Pedro Grifol. Tony La Russa may have been a problem, but he was just a small part to blame. Grifol needs to begin walking his talk, or else he may end up just like La Russa.
Elvis Andrus expected to win with the White Sox, and another disappointing season might be the last straw. A resurgence must be ignited now, with the possibility of major off-season changes looming. Even if the White Sox make some type of a comeback, fans may very well see a White Sox team next year that doesn’t include Elvis Andrus.
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