When Elvis Andrus was acquired by the Athletics from the Texas Rangers in February, it didn't take long for his personality to fit in with the Green and Gold.
It also quickly became apparent that Andrus' main objective was to win. No matter how. He sat down with NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil to talk about his turnaround from the beginning of the season to now. The 13-year veteran is improving a lot, but admits he hasn’t found his groove yet.
“I think it was more time,” Andrus told Brazil. “I think the first that, there was a lot of mixed emotion that I had through there. Some on-field stuff, and personal life stuff going on the first month so it was really tough for me to concentrate, but for a few months, I’ve been able to just be myself.”
In his first 26 games of the season, Andrus was batting .151/.202/.186 with 19 strikeouts and just 13 hits in 94 plate appearances.
Now, 70 games later, Andrus is batting with a .233 average and 78 hits in 96 games.
“I know that I’m nowhere I want to be just yet, especially offensively, but I’ve been able to contribute to the team, and then being on base, and do the things I’ve been doing my whole career to help my team,” Andrus said. “Still a work in progress, I haven’t hit my stride yet, but I feel like I’m really close.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin has been moving Andrus up and down the lineup throughout the season, and while he has experience batting higher up, he noticed there’s not much contrast.
“It’s not too much difference,” Andrus said. “The only difference is when I’m hitting second. I think after the first time through, it doesn’t matter where you hit. The game’s going to dictate whether you’re hitting second, cleanup -- sometimes I’m hitting ninth and I have three opportunities to drive runs.
“It doesn’t matter where you are because the game is going to dictate what you need to do at the plate,” Andrus said.
On Thursday, Melvin was asked about moving Andrus up and down in the lineup.
"I told him today I was going to hit him down, and I get a text back from him: 'I don't care where I hit, I just want to win,' Melvin said. “And that's what you expect out of a pro like him."
Andrus will do whatever it takes to win, even if it means hitting ninth.