The Texas Rangers have struggled offensively, once again, over the past week, but on Friday night in Anaheim when they open a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, they should have one hot bat back in the lineup.
Elvis Andrus left last Saturday's game in the first inning after tweaking his back and hasn't played since, missing the entire Oakland series and leaving the Rangers with a void at the top of their lineup as the team's usual No. 2 hitter.
Andrus is hitting .314 since the all-star break after hitting just .242 in the first half. His on-base percentage is 24 points higher and his slugging percentage — still meager — nearly 100 points higher than it was through the first half of the season. He has three less stolen bases in the second half in less than half of the amount of games leading up to the break. In other words, he's finally good again.
Now the Rangers will be thrilled to have Andrus back in the lineup, especially seeing how he and Leonys Martin tortured Angels pitchers and catchers on the base paths the last time the team was in LA.
With the A's hosting Houston (despite an Astros win on Thursday), the Rangers can't afford to drop any of these games and have swept the Angels in their last two series, and getting Andrus back should go a long way toward another one.