Alcides Escobar, in his second season with the Washington Nationals, after he was acquired from the Kansas City Royals last July 3rd, connected for his first hit of the 2022 campaign in his first plate appearance of the year, but went 0 for 19 after the initial single. Escobar, 35, is in his 13th big league campaign, but he didn’t play in the majors at all in 2019-2020, and the numbers he put up with the Nats last season (.288/.340/.404, 21 doubles, 2 triples, 4 HRs in 75 games and 349 PAs, 1.7 fWAR) were his best since 2012 & ‘14, when he put up 2.6 and 3.5 fWAR seasons.
Escobar snapped his hitless streak at 19 plate appearances with a hit in his second trip to the plate in the series opener in PNC Park last Thursday, and he doubled for the first time this season and drew a walk as well in a 2 for 3 game on Saturday night, finishing the four-game series in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ home 4 for 13 (.308/.438/.385) with the double, two walks, and two Ks.
Escobar’s manager, Davey Martinez, said after the first multi-hit game of the year Saturday night, he hoped the good showing by his shortstop might be the start of something at the plate.
“Yeah, he’s staying through the baseball a little bit better,” Martinez said, “... and as we all know when he’s going good he does get those broken bat hits, because he stays through the ball. He swung the bat a lot better today, so hopefully this gets him going.”
If he needs any additional motivation, the top-ranked shortstop on the organizational chart, Luis García, was just named the Triple-A International League’s Player of the Week, after the 22-year-old infielder went 14-for-27, .519 AVG, with five extra base hits (though he also has a total of four errors in 43 chances at short early this season in Rochester, after making 11 in 99 chances at shortstop in 2021, so... rest easy for now, Alcides?).
Escobar went 1 for 3 with a run scored and a walk in the first of two today with the D-backs in D.C., and he’s resting for the nightcap of the doubleheader, with Lucius Fox getting the start at short.
[ed. note - “See how we pivoted there at the end. This is what happens when you go and pre-write lineup posts and they don’t work out as planned.”]