“I’d much rather have him playing than sitting on the bench,” outfielder Shin-Soo Choo said. “Man, can he talk. I don’t know how somebody can talk like that. The ninth inning and he is still talking. I told [manager Chris Woodward], ‘The next time you don’t play him, just send him home.’”
Woodward has every intention of playing him. Andrus bribed the manager with a $1 bill on Friday night to get himself back in the lineup.
“He needs to play,” Woodward said. “It’s his secret way of saying, ‘Don’t ever give me a day off. … Otherwise I am just going to cause havoc on the bench all game long.’”
That’s easy for Andrus to do.
“He talks a lot,” Woodward said. “Yelling at umpires, yelling at the opposing catcher [former teammate Jonathan Lucroy] every single pitch. If he drops one, he’s just screaming at him the whole time. Lucroy just looks over and is like, ‘Stop!’ I think it’s funny, but I am glad he is in the lineup.”
Andrus has been sidelined since straining his right hamstring in the seventh inning of an 11-5 loss to the Royals on May 14. It’s the second straight year Andrus has found his way to the injured list after avoiding it for the first nine years of his career. He missed over two months last season with a fractured right elbow.
The Rangers were 8-1 while Andrus was on the injured list.
“I was so glad to see that,” Andrus said. “We were going to do that with or without me. I don’t make that much of a difference. We are playing really well, especially the pitching, and the bullpen has been amazing. That gives our offense some breathing room. As long as we pitch well and stay healthy, we’ll be in there.”
Woodward still behind Miller
Going into Saturday’s game, Rangers pitcher Shelby Miller has made one appearance in 10 days since being moved to the bullpen. Miller was 1-3 with a 9.51 ERA in eight starts before being demoted, and allowed a grand slam to Mariners infielder Tim Beckham in his only relief appearance.
But Woodward is still expressing confidence Miller will get it turned around before the Rangers are forced to make a decision on his roster spot.
“As tough of a year he has had, he is standing tall,” Woodward said. “He walks around and doesn’t mope. Still positive. Keeps his head up. Still wants to learn. Still wants to figure things out. He’s going to provide something for us this year that’s going to be significant because of that. He’s going to have a stretch, or a run, that provides us a ton of value because of that relentless resiliency of dealing with failure. It’s a great message for all our young guys.”
Odor versus left-handers
Skaggs is the first of five straight left-handers the Rangers are going to face, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Odor is going to sit and Forsythe is going to play.
“I think Rougned can hit lefties,” Woodward said. “I like Rougie against lefties. I think Rougie does a good job staying in there. It may help Rougie more because we need him to get going. He is our everyday second baseman. I don’t want to pull the plug on him just because we are facing lefties.”
Odor didn't get a hit off a lefty on Saturday, but he did deliver a pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth inning off Hansel Robles to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead.
The Rangers are scheduled to face Andrew Heaney on Sunday and lefties Tommy Milone, Marco Gonzales and Wade LeBlanc during their three-game series against the Mariners. Going into Saturday night, the Rangers had faced a left-handed starter in just 13 of their first 48 games.