Even with all the Rangers’ recent troubles, Gallup likely would find a majority of respondents still would rather see a team in the midst of a serious slide than a disrobed Prince Fielder swinging a baseball bat au naturel.
“Wow,” Elvis Andrus joked when asked about Fielder’s appearance in ESPN The Magazine’s Body Issue. “I think that’s the only comment I can make of those pictures.
“He looked good, I guess.”
The shortstop admitted that he couldn’t say the same about the state of the Rangers, who lost 8-3 to the Astros on Tuesday night, the team’s 17th loss in 20 games. It’s a situation he’s never found himself in at this level of his professional career.
“It’s been very difficult,” Andrus said. “Right now it’s not happening, but it’s never too late. I think we still have time. We have to start doing our job, go out there and be professional and play hard.”
One thing is sure, though. No one will find Andrus posing nude in any magazine.
“I don’t think I can do that,” Andrus said. “It’s way out of my game. I’ll leave it to [Fielder]. I think [Alex] Rios would look good in that magazine, too.”
Yu hit in BP
Yu Darvish is expected to make his scheduled start Wednesday despite being hit with a batted ball while standing in the outfield during batting practice on Tuesday.
Team doctor Keith Meister found no apparent injury, but the right-hander will be examined again Wednesday morning, a team official said.
Odor learning curve
Rougned Odor is experiencing his first extended bad stretch in the big leagues, having entered Tuesday’s game hitting .173 in his last 17 games.
After 43 games, teams are starting to make their adjustments on how to pitch to the 20-year-old, who has yet to counter with his necessary adjustments, manager Ron Washington said.
“There’s a lot of baseball that kid still has to learn,” Washington said. “Usually, when you have young kids on the lineup, they just try to blow balls by them. They’re pitching to him.”
Odor had a single in three at-bats on Tuesday.
Washington said Odor has a “good aptitude … but that doesn’t substitute experience.”
Jim Aducci (broken left pinkie) said he expects to start a minor league rehabilitation stint as early as Saturday.
The corner outfielder/first baseman has been hitting off a tee and will take regular batting practice before Wednesday’s game. He plans to hit off the machine Thursday and Friday.
“The only way to have a true feeling is off the machine, and obviously, I want two days of it because we can see where I’m at with the quality of swings and what I want to do for my recovery,” Adduci said.
Big league dreams
Jake Smolinski’s path to the big leagues had been anything but on the fast track until he joined the Rangers organization. The outfielder played 72 games with Double A Frisco and eight with Triple A Round Rock before getting the call to the big club on Monday.
The journeyman minor leaguer, who has played in four organizations over the last seven years, made his first major league start on Tuesday, striking out in his first two at-bats before finishing with a double and a single.
“It’s your dream,” said Smolinski, 25, originally drafted by Washington out of Rockford (Ill.) Boylan Catholic High School. “I wasn’t expecting it to happen, but that’s what you work for daily. You always have that hope and that dream that it will happen.”