SURPRISE, Ariz. – Elvis Andrus doesn’t remember another five-RBI game in his life. He might never have another one.
But Andrus, who drove in five runs in Sunday’s Cactus League loss to the Giants, does expect to emerge as a reliable run producer in the No. 2 hole.
“Last year, I kind of sacrificed my swing in the leadoff spot to see more pitches and be more patient,” said Andrus, who had only 35 RBI last season. “This year, I’m going to continue to be patient and make that guy throw strikes. At the same time, any time I’m ahead in the count, I’m going to put a good swing on the ball.”
Andrus, who bulked up about 10 pounds to 205 during the offseason, believes he has more pop in his bat now. Not that it’s a bold statement.
After all, Andrus did have the most at-bats in the majors without a home run in 2010. He had only 18 extra-base hits (15 doubles, three triples) in 588 at-bats.
While Andrus doesn’t anticipate suddenly morphing into a long ball threat, he is optimistic that his total of doubles and triples will increase significantly.
“My approach is going to continue to be the same: Try to shoot the ball up the middle or the other way and react to the inside pitch,” said Andrus, who had 31 extra-base hits (17 doubles, eight triples, six homers) as a rookie. “This year I know I’m going to get a lot more opportunities to drive in runs.
“I hit a lot of balls last year that this year the ball might go a little farther. I have more power. Every time I hit the ball good, I feel the ball carry more. That’s what you want.”