Alcides Escobar played hurt because the Royals have a weird bench

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Kansas City has had a weird bench situation all season, including no backup middle infielder currently, which means yesterday starting shortstop Alcides Escobar was in the lineup despite swelling in his knee from being spiked Saturday.

Here’s more on the weirdness, from Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star:

If Escobar left Saturday’s game, manager Ned Yost floated the idea of utilizing either first baseman Eric Hosmer or reliever Michael Mariot in left field, with Alex Gordon shifting to third base.

Using a reliever in the outfield and using Alex Gordon at a position he hasn’t played since 2010. There are no bonus points in baseball for degree of difficulty, so it sure seems like the Royals should just find another guy capable of playing shortstop and put him on the roster like every other team does every season.

Of course, Escobar went 1-for-4 with a walk Sunday and the Royals won, so what do I know.

Andrelton Simmons, Shohei Ohtani both injured in Angels’ loss

Associated Press
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The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.

Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.

Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.