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#pounditSaturday, October 1, 2022

Elvis Andrus calls out Athletics over playing time

Elvis Andrus in his Athletics uniform

Jul 23, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics shortstop Elvis Andrus (17) before the game against the Texas Rangers at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Robert Edwards-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran shortstop Elvis Andrus is not happy with how the Oakland Athletics are handling his playing time.

Andrus has found himself on the bench much more frequently for Oakland in recent games, with manager Mark Kotsay publicly discussing giving a longer look at young infielder Nick Allen. Andrus admitted he is aware of the team’s plans, but not happy about them.

“They told me about it, but yeah, I’m super surprised,” Andrus said, via Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle. “Everybody knows I’m an everyday player. So doing this, it’s not fun for me. Especially second half, I feel so good, and I was feeling I was going up, and this stop did not help me personally. But as much as I can do right now is stay healthy and stay prepared and be ready for my time.”

There are other possible reasons the Athletics are cutting back on Andrus’ playing time, even if they are unlikely to admit them publicly. The veteran shortstop is in the final guaranteed year of his contract, but would have a player option worth $15 million on the table if he were to reach 550 plate appearances in 2022.

Andrus was at 376 plate appearances entering play Sunday. Oakland, a franchise notorious for penny-pinching, has the lowest payroll in all of Major League Baseball, so one hardly needs to be an expert to realize that the team would probably like to get Andrus’ salary off the books as soon as possible. The A’s won’t say this, and Andrus probably wouldn’t be doing himself many favors by pointing it out, especially since he agreed to the contract in the first place.

Andrus, a former All-Star, is hitting just .237 on the season, though he has a long career as an everyday shortstop to demonstrate his value. He probably hasn’t done much wrong for Oakland other than have a contract they want to get rid of at the end of the season, and it will cost him playing time in the interim.

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