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D-backs acknowledge Eduardo Escobar putting on weight was a ‘concern’

Arizona Diamondbacks' Eduardo Escobar flips his bat after a swinging strike during a baseball training camp intrasquad scrimmage Sunday, July 12, 2020, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo was asked Wednesday if they had noticed third baseman Eduardo Escobar in a worse physical condition than previous years and spring training when he arrived for summer camp.

The manager acknowledged that was indeed the case.

“Yes, it was a concern and, yes, it was addressed and, yes, I would like to see it changed,” he said.

Escobar is having a career-worst year at the plate, hitting .198 with four home runs and 18 RBIs. His OPS of .578 is the lowest of his career since he started getting regular playing time with the Minnesota Twins in 2013. His batting average is 58 points lower than his career number of .256 and his .262 on-base percentage is nearly 50 points off his career average of .308.

Lovullo said Escobar’s effort during the season has been there and that he believes in a full season that the numbers would have come back around.

“The biggest thing for Eduardo this year that I want him to take away from this season is he feels like he’s responsible for the success or the lack of success that this team has and I’ve told him that this is spread out to eight or nine staff members and 28 players and he doesn’t need to weather that storm all by himself,” Lovullo said.

As far as Escobar’s physical shape affecting his play, Lovullo noted Escobar’s “rotational mobility in the core area” improving during the shortened season but still needing to get better.

Escobar was acquired from Minnesota in July of 2018, and did well enough with the D-backs the rest of that season to earn a three-year, $21 million extension that runs through 2021.

He followed that up with a terrific 2019 season, smashing 35 homers and 118 RBIs with a career-high .831 OPS.


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