ARLINGTON, TX - JULY 25: Elvis Andrus #1 of the Texas Rangers hits a single in the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on July 25, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
After getting off to an awful start to the season, which turned into an awful first half of the season, Texas Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus has been one of the Rangers' best players since the all-star break and had worked his way back in to being a highly effective hitter out of the No. 2 spot in the Rangers' lineup.
The Rangers have now dropped consecutive games and are in danger of losing first place in the AL West with a loss on Tuesday night, and it's no coincidence that Andrus didn't play in those two games after tweaking his back running the bases in Saturday's win over Minnesota.
Originally, the prognosis was for Andrus to return to the lineup on Monday, but now it looks like he could miss the remainder of the three-game series in Oakland, which ends Wednesday before the Rangers head to Anaheim to face the Los Angeles Angels.
Andrus has his batting average up to .263 after hitting just .242 over the season's first half. He's now hitting .314 since the all-star break and has 16 stolen bases in 40 starts as compared to 19 stolen bases in his first 91 starts of the season. He told the Star-Telegram on Monday that his back is improving, but is still stiff.
Jurickson Profar has started the two games Andrus has missed at shortstop, and has hit second in the lineup. He's had his struggles.
“In a perfect world, he might have just missed yesterday and been ready to go,” manager Ron Washington said. “We can’t afford him to go down again. So if it just means a couple extra days, it’ll just be a couple extra days.”