Ron Washington, the Rangers manager who is now 62 years and one day old, was relaxed, leaning back in the dark leather office chair where many Texas Rangers decisions are made, slowly shaking his head back and forth.
That was the scene in the skipper’s office Wednesday afternoon before the Rangers’ series finale with the Oakland Athletics, when he was asked if he considered giving Elvis Andrus a day off.
Andrus is hitless in his last 12 at-bats, and just one for his last 22 over a six-game span.
“I’ve felt a little lost out there [at the plate], but that’s just baseball,” the shortstop said. “I think it’s been happening the last couple games. I’m just working on every detail to get my swing back. It only takes one at-bat.”
Thursday is an off day for the Rangers, as Wednesday marks the conclusion of a brief three-game set in Arlington before another road trip to the West Coast. Giving Andrus a day off would’ve given him a two-day break, but Andrus is content with just one.
“I think going out and having a good game tonight will help me more than the day off,” he said. “But every day off is a good way to relax and get ready for the next series.”
"When people are struggling, you can't pull them out of their struggles, they have to figure it out," Washington said. "They're not going to figure it out with two days off."
Before the club can set its sights on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, it needs to focus on avoiding a sweep against the current AL West leaders. While an April 30 game doesn’t have a substantial mathematical impact on the standings, Texas must carry a “must-win” mindset into Wednesday’s contest, Andrus said.
“You have to play that way, you have to play one game at a time. We have to build throughout the year, because it’s a long season. Today is a good day for us to jump out there and get back on track.”
Washington said Wednesday night presents an opportunity to rebound from a game in which his team didn’t execute, missing chances to score in four different innings Tuesday. Wednesday is the sixth time in 10 days the Rangers and A’s have squared off.
When asked about his first impressions of the 2014 Oakland Athletics through those six games, he maintained his stoicism, lightly rocking in his aforementioned leather throne, and said the back-and-forth between the two clubs is nothing new.
“It’s been just as I expected,” he said.
Put me in coach, I’m ready to play… left field?
Mitch Moreland makes his first career start in left field Wednesday night. Shin-Soo Choo, the team’s starting left fielder, returned to the lineup after missing five games with an ankle injury, but has been occupied the designated hitter role.
Washington said that Choo is healthy and ready to play the outfield, but the decision to DH him was purely the manager’s.
“Choo is dying to get out and play left field, but I wasn’t going to do that these first two games,” he said. “With Choo at DH, I had to get Moreland some at-bats.”
Moreland, the primary DH this season, worked out in the outfield in spring training as he was displaced from his first base role with the Rangers after the arrival of Prince Fielder.
Choo is set to return to the outfield on Friday in Anaheim, Washington said.