X-rays, CT scan turn up negative on Carlos Beltran’s ribs

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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny announced in his postgame press conference that Carlos Beltran underwent X-rays and a CT scan at a local Boston hospital after banging his rib cage on the short right field wall at Fenway Park on Wednesday evening. The tests came up negative and the Cardinals will leave Beltran’s health status as “day-to-day” heading into the morning of World Series Game 2.

Jon Jay entered to play center field and Shane Robinson shifted over to right field in Game 1 on Wednesday. That’s a significant drop-off in offense from Beltran, who by now is a postseason legend.

Here’s another look at the home run-robbing catch that led to Beltran’s rib contusion:

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It looks like his elbow absorbs the bulk of the padding and his rib cage lands flush along the top of the wall.

The Red Sox won World Series Game 1 on Wednesday by a score of 8-1. Game 2 is on Thursday night.

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.