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Thursday, April 25, 2013
Web gem: Elvis, Yu dazzle with bare hand

By Todd Wills

Shortstop Elvis Andrus' defense is so good sometimes it can be taken for granted. Pitcher Yu Darvish is athletic enough to field his position.

Both made spectacular bare-handed plays in the last week that can easily be taken for granted.

Andrus' bare-handed play in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Angels came on a high chopper by Mark Trumbo for the second out of the inning. Andrus positioned his body perfectly to field the ball with his right hand and make the throw in one motion. He was shaking his hand for several seconds after the play. The Rangers went on to win 5-4.

Darvish made his play in his start against the Seattle Mariners last Friday. With the Mariners' Endy Chavez trying to bunt for a hit, Darvish bolted off the mound and fielded the ball near the third base line and whipped a throw to first base to nip the speedy Seattle center fielder. Darvish looked like Andrus making a throw from shortstop. Darvish ended up the winning pitcher as the Rangers beat the Mariners 5-0.

The Rangers are off to a strong start defensively, ranking fifth in baseball with a .900 team fielding percentage.

"We've played pretty well," second baseman Ian Kinsler said. "Elvis is growing up. Beltre is a two-time platinum Gold Glove winner. I'd like to think I'm a good defensive player. Mitch is a very solid first baseman. It's no surprise to us. We believe that we're very good defensively. I guess we just have to prove it."