Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus Sizzles in Caracas

Standout major league shortstop Elvis Andrus -- having received permission from Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan to delay preparations for travel to spring training in Arizona -- homered for the Mariners in a 7-3 triumph over the Lions in the fifth game of Venezuelan National Baseball League Championship Tuesday in Caracas, the nation's capital.

Play resumes Thursday.

The Mariners now lead the the Lions 3-2 in the seven-game set, with Andrus hitting at a .421 clip, or 8-19. He and brother Erold Andrus, a former prospect in the Tampa Bay Devil Rays system, both homered, the first time brothers have gone deep in the same game in the history of the series. They are Venezuelan natives.

Elvis Andrus initially was to begin preparing for his upcoming departure to Arizona after the fifth game, but received the OK from Texas to stay for the conclusion of the series. Pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report to the Rangers Cactus League training facility in Surprise, Ariz. on Feb. 18, with a workout scheduled the following day.

Andrus was expected to appear this week at the Ballpark at Arlington for a promotional minicamp.

At 20, the former top prospect in the Atlanta Braves organization, was acquired as part of the Mark Teixiera trade, and fairly delighted the Rangers when he finished second in the Rookie-of-the-Year voting after hitting .267 with 33 steals and 72 runs scored in his 2009 campaign.