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Cal Ripken Jr. weighs in on the struggles of Elvis Andrus

Elvis_Andrus_2009As the Texas Rangers' season continues to drop under the .500 mark, you may not be noticing that shortstop Elvis Andrus continues to drop along with his team's record.

Since signing an eight-year, $118 million deal with the Rangers, Andrus has not progressed but rather regressed at a troublesome rate.

Hall of Fame shortstop Cal Ripken Jr., who serves as an MLB analyst for TBS, was on a conference call on Tuesday and I asked him of what he thought of Andrus' progression.

"I haven't watched him enough to say he has regressed. If you are looking at statistical analysis, I can't really speak to that," he said. "But when I do get a chance to watch him, he's sure handed. He's careful. He makes good throws. Shows good range, turns double plays really well. When I look at him, he is the exact shortstop I would want. Comparing him to other shortstops is unfair. To me, he is a top tier shortstop."

Then Ripken asked me - and this is paraphrasing because I was not expecting him to ask me a question - "Do you have anything that says he is not progressing or regressing as a hitter?"

I proceeded to list off the major Andrus' stats from his page on

UnknownThis season, he is batting .271 with an on base percentage of .320. He has two home runs, 18 RBIs. He is only 25, but this is his sixth MLB season. He should be entering his prime, which if he is, and these numbers are the trend, is not ideal.

"I would say he has the potential to be a .300 hitter, for sure. Sometimes there is a correlation between protection (in the lineup) and hitting bad pitches," Ripken said. "In a good, year, he would push .300.

"But (this) might be who he is as a hitter."

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Jim Merritt

The main problem is the guaranteed long term contracts. Players show great talent the years they are up for a new contract then they coast for the rest of their contract, until the last year then they turn it on again. This applies to all sports where the players have BIG guaranteed contracts.

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