A change of scenery can really change a perspective. That definitely holds true in Major League Baseball.
Former Rangers shortstop Elvin Andrus is an Athletic now, and while he says he used to ‘hate’ A’s third baseman Matt Chapman, he’s now inspired by the work ethic and talent of his new infield-mate, per Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I played against (Chapman) and I used to hate him so much because nothing goes through him,” Andrus said. “But now playing alongside, I just need to know how much actual ground he covers so I can … start thinking how it’s going to be during the season and just get that relationship with him in the field.”San Francisco Chronicle
Per Kawahara, Andrus has asked manager Bob Melvin to play at shortstop every time Chapman plays in the field so they can develop rapport on defense. Chapman is coming off hip surgery and is scheduled to play at the hot corner for the first time this spring on Friday.
The 32-year-old Andrus measures 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, and he’s a career .274 hitter in 12 MLB seasons, all in Texas. He’ll replace Marcus Semien at short, who was one of Oakland’s best players. The A’s let him walk as a free agent and he was signed by the Blue Jays.
Time will tell if he can fill Semien’s shoes, but inspiration from Chapman will help Andrus meet that goal, it seems. I can’t blame him. I’d likely be inspired to see what Chapman can do up close, as well.
“When (Chapman) releases that ball, it’s a freaking cannon. It’s really exciting to actually see it right next to him.”–Elvis AndrusSan Francisco Chronicle
Now they have the spring to build that rapport and be ready to go come opening day. Friday figures to be the first of many times Andrus and Chapman take the field together and so far, it’s all love.
(Photo credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports)