Andrus had played in 47 of the team's past 48 games, and Washington felt it was time to give him a little breather. He originally intended to sit him during Texas' last series in New York, but Andrus objected.
"When I mentioned it to him in New York, he was ready to box," Washington joked.
Andrus took the news better this time and was informed after the Rangers' 3-2 loss to Toronto on Friday that he was getting a day off. He will be back in Texas' lineup Sunday.
Last season, Washington said the grueling 162-game schedule took a noticeable toll on Andrus, particularly on the defensive end. But this year, he doesn't have those same concerns and considers it proof that Andrus has grown into a more mature player.
"He's learned how to deal with a little bit of fatigue and play through it," Washington said.
"He's only human, so he will make some errors. But you don't see him making them because he's tired or he's trying to do something that shouldn't be done. He just makes them because he is human."
Taking Andrus' place at shortstop was utility man Michael Young, who batted second, which is Andrus' normal spot in the order.
It was just the second start that Young has made at short this season. The 34-year-old has mainly been used as the team's designated hitter and has also seen time at first, second and third base.
The 35-year-old Young has struggled at the plate this year, entering Saturday's contest batting .270 with a .644 OPS, his lowest marks since the 2002 season. But Washington thinks a breakout for the seven-time All-Star is right around the corner.
"I still believe he's about to pick us up any time," Washington said. "There's a spurt in him."