Elvis Andrus learning importance of ‘mental edge’

Posted Monday, May. 27, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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The conversation started about Eric Chavez, one of Ron Washington’s prized pupils who won six Gold Gloves as a third baseman with the Oakland Athletics and is now playing well for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Talk eventually shifted to another one of Washington’s pupils, Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus.

Andrus is one of the top defensive shortstops in the game today. He started the season without committing an error in his first 120 chances, but had committed three errors in the past week going into Monday’s games.

Washington said Andrus simply needs to learn how to get through the inevitable “mental fatigue” over the course of the season, like Chavez and Adrian Beltre have done.

“Beltre, you never see him lose his mental edge,” Washington said. “Elvis is a young kid and he’s still learning.”

Andrus has grown over his five years in the big leagues, learning how to have a short memory when it comes to committing an error. In his early years, Andrus would let an error weigh on his mind.

“Now it’s different,” he said. “If you play every day you have to understand you’re going to make errors. Just try to stay with the positives and turn the page on the negatives.”

Andrus, 24, certainly has the talent to become a Gold Glove winner, and admitted that’s high on his list of career goals behind a World Series ring.

“Any player would want to win a Gold Glove, it means you’re consistent and mentally ready every day,” Andrus said. “It comes with experience. You have to adapt to different situations.”

Injury updates

Alexi Ogando, on the disabled list with right biceps tendinitis since May 16, threw his first bullpen session between games Monday and it went well.

Ogando threw 57 pitches, and the Rangers will decide the next step on Wednesday. Depending on his progress, he could return to the rotation by the next road trip. Ogando is eligible to come off the DL on Friday.

Ian Kinsler (right intercostal strain) did not travel with the team but Ron Washington said reports back have been positive.

“He’s coming along,” Washington said. “We’re certainly hoping it’s only 15 [days], but we really don’t know until we see him out there live and performing.”

Meaningful day

Baseball celebrated Memorial Day with specialty hats and jerseys Monday, and honoring the military is something that hits close to home for utilityman Jeff Baker.

Baker grew up in a military family, as his father, Larry, spent 22 years in the Army, retiring as a colonel.

“It’s awesome as a country we take a day to remember the people who allow us to live the way we live and be free and do the things we do,” said Baker, who is an avid supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project.

“For me, I try not to take any of the days for granted. I’m very appreciative of what my father did and the people in our services do because I’ve lived it and understand the sacrifices they make.”

Briefly

• Lance Berkman made his debut at first base in Game 2. It was his first start in the field since Sept. 5, 2012. Berkman, who started two games at first in spring training, has now played in 738 career games at first.

• Left-hander Robbie Ross threw 12/3 scoreless innings Sunday to lower his ERA to 0.39, lowest figure among all major league relievers. He had a scoreless innings streak of 182/3 innings going into Monday’s doubleheader.

• Nick Tepesch said he had no issues with the blister on his right middle finger during his start Sunday. “I was able to throw all my pitches and it felt fine,” he said.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @drewdavison

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