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Thursday, April 12, 2018

Elvis Andrus headed to DL for first time in career with fractured elbow

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus left Wednesday’s game versus the Los Angeles Angels after being hit on the right elbow by a Keynan Middleton pitch in the ninth inning. Initial x-rays and examination by Rangers Team Physician Keith Meister done at Globe Life Park in Arlington indicate the probability of a fracture in the elbow.

Reminiscent of Ivan Rodriguez breaking his hand (while catching) in 2000 – both players at the peak of their careers. Of course Rodriguez was an MVP on his way to the Hall of Fame, but Andrus is no slouch: one of the most durable players in the game till this point, and already a 29-WAR career at the age of 29.

I was sitting right behind home plate when Andrus was hit, and he went down in terrible and immediate pain.  In fact, over the years I have seen Josh Hamilton run into a wall, Adrian Beltre pull up lame on the bases, and Shin-Soo Choo break his arm on a HBP, all missing significant time afterwards.  This is perhaps just the odds when going to so many Ranger games, but they might want to ban me from the park just as a precaution.

With Andrus, Delino Deshields, Rougned Odor, and Doug Fister all on the DL, and the team 4-10, the Rangers might be sellers of their remaining veterans sooner rather than later.

BDC Posted: April 12, 2018 at 01:23 PM | 24 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: elvis andrus, injuries, opt-outs, rangers

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   1. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 12, 2018 at 04:19 PM (#5652493)
The pitch that hit him was clocked at 97 MPH, and the moment he went down, it was apparent he was hurt.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 12, 2018 at 04:20 PM (#5652494)
So you're saying he's left the building?
   3. eric Posted: April 12, 2018 at 06:33 PM (#5652594)
This injury aside, Andrus seems like a great candidate for a "3000 hits but not much else" career. Brock at least had the SB record and the post-season heroics. Andrus is the Johnny Damon+231 hits of the middle infield. Although I guess predicting a long career for a SS with a career 89 OPS+ is fraught with peril. Once his defense declines, there aren't many places his bat will play full-time unless his offense of the last couple years is sustainable for another 10.
   4. cardsfanboy Posted: April 12, 2018 at 07:04 PM (#5652620)
This injury aside, Andrus seems like a great candidate for a "3000 hits but not much else" career. Brock at least had the SB record and the post-season heroics. Andrus is the Johnny Damon+231 hits of the middle infield. Although I guess predicting a long career for a SS with a career 89 OPS+ is fraught with peril. Once his defense declines, there aren't many places his bat will play full-time unless his offense of the last couple years is sustainable for another 10.


At this point in their lives, Elvis is about 200 hits short of Edgar Renteria, which is a very fair comparison. Andrus is a slightly better fielder, Edgar a slightly better hitter, but 27-29 career war, in their age 29 season(with Elvis having the advantage)
   5. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: April 13, 2018 at 12:27 AM (#5652890)
Doug Fister all on the DL


You're saying this like it's a bad thing....
   6. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: April 13, 2018 at 12:47 AM (#5652894)
Yeah, to get to 3,000 hits, you need to stay in the everyday lineup until you're 40. Omar Vizquel managed to stay in the lineup forever, and would have reached 3,000 hits had he not sucked quit so much at hitting. I don't think Andrus has anything like Vizquel's rep, though, and even absent this injury he would almost certainly have been done as an everyday player by 35. As soon as his glove slips, he'll become a utility infielder, and he may stick in that role until he's 40 but he'll probably never see 500 plate appearances in a season again.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: April 13, 2018 at 02:31 AM (#5652903)
While one never knows how long it will last, I think folks are ignoring Andrus's improvement as a hitter. For the last 2+ seasons, he's at a 111 OPS+. That's obviously not ARod but it's still excellent for a SS and above-average for a 3B/2B if he ever needs to shift. (He probably will, he's been average by Rfield the last couple of years.) He's put up 8.4 WAR in 2016-17, statements about his future demise are really jumping the gun.

This injury aside, Andrus seems like a great candidate for a "3000 hits but not much else" career. Brock at least had the SB record and the post-season heroics. Andrus is the Johnny Damon+231 hits of the middle infield. Although I guess predicting a long career for a SS with a career 89 OPS+ is fraught with peril. Once his defense declines, there aren't many places his bat will play full-time unless his offense of the last couple years is sustainable for another 10.

You pretty much just described Adrian Beltre who took a huge offensive leap forward in his 30s.

EA vs AB

ages 20-24: 17.2 WAR vs 13.6 WAR, 13.9 oWAR vs 9.8 oWAR, 84 OPS+ vs 97 OPS+
ages 26-28: 10.5 WAR vs 12.4 WAR, 10.7 oWAR vs 9.4 oWAR, 99 OPS+ vs 103 OPS+

Note the cute cherry-picking ... age 25 was Beltre's monster season (9.6 WAR) while it was a disaster for Andrus (0.6 WAR).

For hits through age 28 (including age 25 plus Beltre's bit at age 19), Andrus leads by 24 hits and 6 points of BA and 8 points of OBP. (Obviously he's killed in ISO.)

Now of course nobody in their right mind would have expected Beltre entering age 29 to turn himself into a HoFer ... which he didn't really do until age 31. But if Andrus can start hitting about 40 points above his career BA, he's got a good shot.

Speaking of 3000 hits, Pujols is 15 away ... and hasn't been embarrassing lately.

   8. Ziggy's screen name Posted: April 13, 2018 at 09:06 AM (#5652944)
For the last 2+ seasons, he's at a 111 OPS+.


It's very surprising. I'm not sure that I want to live in a world in which Elvis Andrus is a #3 hitter.
   9. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: April 13, 2018 at 09:23 AM (#5652949)
Elvis is #2 among active players in games played at SS. He is 70 ahead of the #3 player, but if he misses this season somehow, Troy Tulowitzki and Alcides Escobar might pass him.
   10. BDC Posted: April 13, 2018 at 09:25 AM (#5652952)
Seems to be a pattern, though, for a young SS eventually to mature as a hitter. Larry Bowa became a .300 hitter briefly, and Ozzie Smith quite the OBP wizard, though neither developed any power. Jay Bell is another example. Andrelton Simmons is at a 107 OPS+ for 2017-18 after not hitting much at all early on.

I guess it's a pattern except for the hundreds of times it doesn't happen :-D
   11. The Good Face Posted: April 13, 2018 at 09:44 AM (#5652962)
While one never knows how long it will last, I think folks are ignoring Andrus's improvement as a hitter. For the last 2+ seasons, he's at a 111 OPS+. That's obviously not ARod but it's still excellent for a SS and above-average for a 3B/2B if he ever needs to shift. (He probably will, he's been average by Rfield the last couple of years.) He's put up 8.4 WAR in 2016-17, statements about his future demise are really jumping the gun.


He noticeably changed his approach; it's not just a flukey spike in BABIP or something. Andrus always had enough size and strength to drive the ball, but he never really tried to consistently until the past couple of years. Once he stopped slapping at the ball and started trying to hit it really hard, good things happened. Makes me wonder how much of his early offensive suckitude was a result of Ron Washington's coaching.
   12. Graham & the 15-win "ARod Vortex of suck" Posted: April 13, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5652974)
Elvis is #2 among active players in games played at SS. He is 70 ahead of the #3 player, but if he misses this season somehow, Troy Tulowitzki and Alcides Escobar might pass him.


I just now realized that JJ Hardy is done.
   13. RJ in TO Posted: April 13, 2018 at 10:17 AM (#5652985)
Elvis is #2 among active players in games played at SS. He is 70 ahead of the #3 player, but if he misses this season somehow, Troy Tulowitzki and Alcides Escobar might pass him.
Even with the broken elbow, the odds of Elvis missing more games this season than Tulo are extremely low.
   14. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: April 13, 2018 at 10:27 AM (#5652995)
Speaking of 3000 hits, Pujols is 15 away ... and hasn't been embarrassing lately.

Having to sit so a pitcher can DH must be providing some incentive to not suck.
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 13, 2018 at 10:35 AM (#5653005)
Speaking of 3000 hits, Pujols is 15 away ... and hasn't been embarrassing lately.

Well, he's still bad. Just not laughably so. A 106 OPS+ from a guy with significant negative defensive value isn't good.
   16. BDC Posted: April 13, 2018 at 11:38 AM (#5653107)
I mentioned this in a Chatter on Monday night: I saw Pujols pop up at one point and he was pretty steamed at himself. Mike Trout came out of the dugout as if to console him, put his arm around him. Later in the game, absolute garbage time with the Angels way ahead, Pujols scratched a single just out of the infield, ran as hard as he now can to first base, and clapped his hands together, pumping his arms – as if he were a kid finally getting a single in Little League, not a first-ballot Hall of Famer. It was both sad and inspiring in a way: Albert Pujols still really cares about doing well at baseball.
   17. eric Posted: April 13, 2018 at 12:17 PM (#5653182)
Lou Gehrig once said that he knew it was time to retire when he was getting congratulated for a routine play. If Pujols is pumped over a routine play, does that fall under the same criteria?

As for Andrus vs Beltre, I saw that comparison as well, but I think predicting a Beltre-esque jump in offensive performance (especially sans any big year like Beltre's 2004) is really going out on a limb more than I wanted to.

I think the Edgar Renteria comparisons are apt. I'd bet right now Andrus ends his career with considerably closer to 2000 hits than to 3000 hits. I'm also willing to bet there will be few takers for the other side :)
   18. Rally Posted: April 13, 2018 at 01:24 PM (#5653248)
At this point in their lives, Elvis is about 200 hits short of Edgar Renteria, which is a very fair comparison.


That's a good comp, one I was thinking about too. Without looking up stats, another one that comes to mind is Jimmy Rollins.

Even with the broken elbow, the odds of Elvis missing more games this season than Tulo are extremely low.


What's a little surprising to me is that Elvis is a player right in the prime of his career, while Tulo went from a star to being a declining player who can still help you about 3 years ago, and right now you really have to wonder how much useful baseball he has left in him. Tulo only started 2 years before Andrus, but is 4 years older. And despite the 2 year head start Elvis's ability to stay in the lineup has him ahead in games.

J-Roll through 29: 33 WAR, 1461 hits. Elvis is slightly ahead on hits, slightly behind in WAR. Elvis had his power surge last year (age 28), Rollins did that at age 27.
   19. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 13, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5653267)
This injury aside, Andrus seems like a great candidate for a "3000 hits but not much else" career.

I'm skeptical that Andrus will get all that close to 3,000 hits. He's never had 200 hits in a season, and only made it to 180 twice. He became a regular at age 20, and has been healthy enough (until now) to pile up PAs, so the hits have accumulated a bit (1,474), but he doesn't strike me as good enough to garner a lot of mid to late 30s playing time, which he would need to make a run at 3,000.
   20. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 13, 2018 at 02:01 PM (#5653287)
It was both sad and inspiring in a way: Albert Pujols still really cares about doing well at baseball.
As the great "Patty Smyth Featuring Don Henley" once said, sometimes love just ain't enough.
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: April 13, 2018 at 05:02 PM (#5653457)
As the great "Patty Smyth Featuring Don Henley" once said, sometimes love just ain't enough.

Even if he's a Warrior.
   22. DanG Posted: April 14, 2018 at 12:31 AM (#5653686)
The Bill James Handbook 2018 has Andrus with a 23% chance for 3000 hits.
   23. Hank G. Posted: April 14, 2018 at 06:57 PM (#5653936)
What’s the data for a shortstop (or other non-first base infielder) being able to throw as well after a broken elbow?
   24. Leroy Kincaid Posted: April 14, 2018 at 08:59 PM (#5653964)
As the great "Patty Smyth Featuring Don Henley" once said, sometimes love just ain't enough.

Even if he's a Warrior.


That was so bad I'm going to have to say goodbye to you.

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