Rickie Weeks leaves with ugly ankle injury, headed to DL

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Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks was pulled from Wednesday night’s game against the Cubs after suffering what looked to be a serious left ankle injury on a play at first base in the second inning.

Weeks landed awkwardly on the first base bag after beating out an infield single and immediately hit the ground in pain. He had to be helped off the field by trainers and was unable to put any weight on his left ankle during the short trek to the Milwaukee dugout.

Initial X-rays turned up negative, but MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy heard from the Brewers’ PR staff that Weeks is headed to a local hospital for “diagnostic tests.” The team may be fearing that he suffered some level of ligament damage.

Weeks, 28, is batting .272/.346/.478 with 19 homers and 43 RBI in 104 games. The Brewers used Craig Counsell in his place on Wednesday and would be in real trouble if Weeks is forced to miss significant time.

UPDATE: The Brewers still aren’t sure about the severity of Weeks’ injury, but manager Ron Roenicke said after Wednesday’s game that the second baseman is headed to the 15-day disabled list.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.