This will be an expensive week for Rangers' shortstop Elvis Andrus. The shortstop, who began the first rehab stint of his career Monday night with Double A Frisco, will be buying the team's postgame meals through Thursday before he heads south for several games with Triple A Round Rock.
It's nothing, of course, to Andrus, who last played in the minors in 2008. It's customary for established (and well-paid) veterans to treat their minor league teammates with some high quality culinary options when they briefly join their lineups.
"It's a lot of fun," said Andrus, who went 0 for 3 in five innings. "I have a lot of great memories. I see it a little different now. I live super close to here."
Andrus wasn't sure what he was serving his teammates after Monday's game.
"I told them to just bring good stuff," he said. "I just gave them my card."
The biggest concern on the field was defense, he said, and how his legs would handle the grind. And, for the first time since April 12 when his right elbow was fractured by a pitch, the heat and humidity.
"I thought after the second inning I wasn't going to be able to play with how hot it is and humidity," he said, only partially kidding. "My legs began to relax a little bit. I got a lot of ground balls which was the biggest concern for me."
In his first at-bat, hitting leadoff, he tapped out gently to third base. In the third, he lined out to second base. He reached on his last at-bat on a fielder's choice to shortstop. He faced Oakland A's prospect left-hander Jesus Luzardo. Andrus will be the designated hitter during Tuesday's noon game. On Wednesday and Thursday he'll creep closer to playing a full nine innings.
While on the bases, his legs got a workout after he took third base on a wild throw to second. He fielded four ground balls and started a 6-4-3 double play in the second inning. His three assists to first base were routine plays and his throws had plenty of zip.
"Running felt good, especially in my first at-bat. I was able to see how it felt," he said. "I'm really happy with today. The kid I faced today has really good potential. Really good pitches. I'm glad I faced [Luzardo]. That's what I want right now, to get my timing down. My timing will get better. I'm not worried about my hitting."