It is going to take a very long time before someone is able to threaten Cal Ripken for the all time consecutive games record, but if Alcides Escobar gets his way, he will at least be another season closer at the end of the 2015 campaign.
Escobar, who has not had a day off since September 26, 2013, is looking to have another full slate of 162 games on his resume this upcoming season. It is not as though Escobar’s season ended in September this year either, as he played 15 postseason games, was a part of the MLB tour of Japan and then played three more weeks in the Venezuelan Winter League. Suffice to say that if there is a baseball game anywhere near Escobar, he will find it and play.
Perhaps this workload is beneficial for Alcides Escobar. After all, last season he posted one of the best seasons of his career offensively, hitting .285/.317/.377 with 34 doubles and 31 stolen bases. He was just as stellar as usual defensively, getting nominated for a Gold Glove award and routinely making plays that most other shortstops would not be able to.
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Perhaps that is the key for getting a more productive Escobar. Maybe he is simply one of those players who thrives on playing more, getting into the same rhythm every day and staying in motion. Unlike those players who need a day or two off every week because of some minor soreness, Escobar just keeps on playing hard each and every day.
Hitting Alcides Escobar leadoff may well be a part of that plan as well. Even though Escobar performed well in that role last season, hitting at a .362/.397/.478 rate, it was a small sample size of 73 plate appearances. Hopefully, that production, and his postseason production at the leadoff spot, can carry over into 2015.
Chances are, Alcides Escobar will be out there at short virtually every inning. Hopefully, he continues to play the same way that he did last year.