‘Easy’ does it for White Sox keystone combo Elvis Andrus, Tim Anderson

“We have the same mentality, which is to show up and dominate,” Andrus said.

SHARE ‘Easy’ does it for White Sox keystone combo Elvis Andrus, Tim Anderson
Tim Anderson (right) of Team USA practices ahead of the World Baseball Classic at Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix.

Tim Anderson (right) of Team USA practices ahead of the World Baseball Classic at Papago Park Sports Complex in Phoenix.

Christian Petersen/Getty Images

SURPRISE, Ariz. — So far, so good.

But Elvis Andrus had to admit playing second base has been ‘‘completely weird.’’ He once ran in the direction of shortstop when taking the field to play second this spring. That’s going to happen when you’ve played short for 1,994 games during a 14-year career and no place else.

Andrus had hoped to find a team that needed a shortstop, which is why he stayed on the free-agent market for so long during the offseason. But when he couldn’t find a taker, he returned to the Sox to be their second baseman after being one of their best players in the last month and a half of last season.

It was a victory for the Sox, who upgraded the position and added a veteran presence in the clubhouse and on the infield. Andrus said he is happy to be back with the Sox, who now have a healthy Tim Anderson back at short. It was Anderson’s finger injury, which he suffered Aug. 9, that created a need at short, and the Sox pounced on Andrus, who was let go by the cost-cutting Athletics.

‘‘He’s been around, knows what’s going to happen,’’ Anderson told the Sun-Times this week. ‘‘Younger guys are always open to a guy like that; even I am interested. I want to see what you have seen that I haven’t seen yet. He can say whatever he has to say, and that’s cool. And if he wants to play short, that’s cool. I’ll play second, too.’’

Wait, what?

‘‘I don’t really want to play second, but that’s what type of teammate I am,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘I don’t care. I want to win.’’

Andrus was so good for the Sox last season that Anderson heard talk from outside the organization that they should make Andrus the shortstop this season.

‘‘Everybody was, like, there is something between us, but there’s nothing there,’’ Anderson said. ‘‘When he came and took off at short, it created a story like we should get rid of Tim and keep Elvis, right? But it’s cool. We’re having fun.’’

Andrus said he needs to become acclimated to the different angles at second and to starting double plays on ground balls to his left, but working with Anderson around the bag has been smooth. The getting-acquainted process went on hold Tuesday, when Anderson left the team to play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

Anderson’s talent and making things simple lessen complications. By now, they know where the other guy likes to receive the ball when turning two.

‘‘I feel it was very easy,’’ Andrus said. ‘‘We talked a few times about double plays and things like that. Besides that, I’ve been really lucky to play with a lot of talented guys and been around a lot of personalities, so I’m always really down to get the best out of my teammates. And dealing with Tim is awesome. We have the same mentality, which is to show up and dominate.

‘‘That’s what I tell my teammates: I don’t care what you do, how you prepare, it’s up to you, it’s your career. But as long as we have the same mentality to show up and we’re all pulling the same way, there won’t be any problems.

‘‘Besides talented, [Anderson is] a really good human being.’’

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