ARLINGTON -- Veteran Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus understands well what young players go through in the Major Leagues, and he feels for his double-play partner, Rougned Odor.Odor had an especially tough night on Saturday in a 6-5 loss to the Astros at Globe Life Park."I know how he feels," Andrus
ARLINGTON -- Veteran Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus understands well what young players go through in the Major Leagues, and he feels for his double-play partner, Rougned Odor.
Odor had an especially tough night on Saturday in a 6-5 loss to the Astros at Globe Life Park.
"I know how he feels," Andrus said. "The only thing I learned from Adrian [Beltre] and great hitters that I played with is, keep it simple. Sometimes we think so much about our swing not working, and we go away from seeing the ball and hitting it. As soon as he can do that, I believe he'll be back to swinging and hitting the ball fine.
"He's a really talented kid. He's having to learn this year and make the adjustments."
On Saturday, Odor went 1-for-5, with four strikeouts. The Rangers struck out 18 times, and Odor was the last one, going down swinging in the bottom of the ninth against Astros reliever Ken Giles with the potential tying run on first base.
Odor is now hitting .203, which is also his average with runners in scoring position. He left six on base; his 107 stranded on the season are the most in the American League.
"It's a challenge," manager Jeff Banister said. "[He's] obviously a guy who was so good for us last year and good in certain stretches this year. The last few opportunities with runners in scoring position, where he has been so good for us in the past -- whether it's a big hit, home run, grinding at-bats out -- I know it's a challenge for him. Hitters go through certain stretches, and this is obviously one that is challenging for him."
Banister has been leaving Odor in the No. 5 spot in the lineup, hoping that the return of Beltre would help him get hot. That hasn't happened. Odor is 3-for-22 on this homestand since Beltre returned. Beltre is 8-for-19 after five games, but pitchers are going to work around him to get to Odor.
"This is a guy who has been through some challenges before," Banister said of Odor. "I'm sure it doesn't feel good for everybody else. Any time you have situations like that where you are not producing at a rate you are used to, the success you know you are capable of having, again, it's challenging. We feel confident that he is a mainstay in our lineup, that he is a guy that will be able to work through it."
T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.