Another thumb injury, this one hopefully not serious. Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Yunel Escobar bruised his thumb booting this play (video below) in the first inning of last night's 6-3 loss to the Cleveland Indians, reports Bill Chastain of MLB.com. Escobar stayed in the game for the second inning but was replaced in the third with Logan Forsythe playing second base and Ben Zobrist shifting from second base to shortstop. Manager Joe Maddon said after the game, "I don't think it's anything." Escobar is hitting .244/.311/.341 with two homers and five RBI. He is listed as day to day.
Escobar is a veteran of eight major league seasons (Atlanta, Toronto, Tampa Bay). Possessed of an adequate glove, some speed (20+ stolen bases a year) and a .277 career batting average, Escobar is perhaps best known for an incident on September 15, 2012, when Toronto was playing the Boston Red Sox. Escobar was photographed with the phrase "TU ERE MARICON" (loosely translated "You are a faggot") written in his eye black. The Blue Jays suspended him for three games and donated the salary he would have earned to the groups You Can Play and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
Escobar, 31, was drafted in 2005 by Atlanta (2nd round) and made his major league debut on June 2, 2007. In November 2012, Escobar was traded to the Miami Marlins along with Adeiny Hechavarria, Henderson Álvarez, Jeff Mathis, Jake Marisnick, Anthony DeSclafani, and Justin Nicolino, in exchange for Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson, Jose Reyes, John Buck, and Emilio Bonifacio. The Marlins then traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays in December 2012 for Derek Dietrich. Escobar is signed to a 5-year $28 million contract through 2016 (2017 team option).