The Athletics defeated the Rangers 4-2 this afternoon to move into a flat-footed tie in the AL West, but they might be without their hottest hitter when the series continues on Tuesday.
According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Coco Crisp left today’s game due to a right shin contusion. The injury occurred when he fouled a ball off his leg during an at-bat in the bottom of the sixth inning. The 33-year-old finished the at-bat and eventually struck out, but walked gingerly back to the dugout and didn’t return to play the field to begin the seventh inning. The severity of the issue isn’t yet known, as Athletics manager Bob Melvin told Slusser that he’ll be reevaluated when he gets to the ballpark tomorrow.
Crisp has been out of his mind recently, going deep seven times in his last 11 games. He homered in his third straight game today, giving him a career-high 17 home runs for the year.
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.