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.
The Braves have announced on Tuesday evening the signing of free agent outfielder Marcell Ozuna. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that it’s a one-year contract for $18 million.
Ozuna, 29, hit .241/.328/.472 with 29 home runs, 89 RBI, 80 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 549 plate appearances for the Cardinals last season. He’s been consistently above-average in each of the past four seasons, which also included a career year in 2017 in which he was worth 6.1 WAR, per Baseball Reference.
It is surprising that Ozuna, a two-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner, had to settle for a one-year deal. The Braves are happy he did as he will help make up for some of the offense lost when third baseman Josh Donaldson became a free agent and ultimately signed with the Twins. Ozuna can become a free agent again after the 2020 season but won’t have qualifying offer compensation attached to him, part of the reason why his market may have been slow to develop.
Along with Ozuna, the Braves have signed in free agency this offseason reliever Will Smith, starter Cole Hamels, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud. They re-signed relievers Chris Martin and Darren O'Day, catcher Tyler Flowers, infielder Adeiny Hechavarría, and outfielder Nick Markakis.