Elvis Andrus has regressed as a player every year since the 2012 season, and in the meantime, he's signed a big-money extension that pays him like an elite shortstop, which advanced stats and metrics have clearly said he is not.
It's not that Andrus is a complete bust, it's just that he hasn't played up to his contract, and he hasn't gotten better and better each year leading into his prime but instead has regressed into it.
With all that said, Andrus is starting to turn things around for the better, and throughout this four-game winning streak has played really well in the field, as well as at the plate.
On Thursday night, it was Andrus' big two-run single with two outs in the second that turned a pretty tight game into a comfortable Rangers lead and put Rays starter Chris Archer in trouble early on after he'd walked in two straight runs before Andrus' big hit.
Earlier this season, having Andrus at the plate with two outs and the bases loaded would've basically been a ticket to get up and go do what you need to do around the house without even having to worry about pausing the game. The conclusion was pretty much already written, and it was an Andrus out to end the inning.
But in recent weeks, Andrus has begun to put together some solid at-bats, and he had another in that key second inning on Thursday night. Over his last 20 games, Andrus has done about what you expect out of an elite, light-hitting shortstop at the plate, with a .266 batting average and a .348 on-base percentage with five doubles and 11 walks. He's also stolen four bases during that time and grounded into just one double play.