Yunel Escobar to undergo MRI for groin injury

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Yunel Escobar was forced to exit last night’s game due to a left groin injury and the team announced this morning that he will be sent for an MRI.

Escobar suffered the injury running down the first base line in the fourth inning last night. He’s convinced that it’s not a big deal and that he’ll be ready to go in a couple of days, but Nationals manager Matt Williams told Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com that they’ll look at the test results before deciding on a possible disabled list stint.

“He says he feel OK,” manager Matt Williams said. “The results will tell us more, and we’ll be able to make a decision. Right now, we’re just waiting on him having that test.”

The Nationals are already without Anthony Rendon, so their infield depth is being tested in the early part of the season. Danny Espinosa is making the first start of his career at third base today while Dan Uggla is playing second base.

Escobar has been one of the Nationals’ best hitters thus far, batting .286/.362/.405 through 11 games.

Report: Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.