Concussion Pauses LA Angels Yunel Escobar’s Season Long Hot Streak
In a year where the LA Angels have lost player after player to the disabled list, the team finally seemed to have changed the tides with the return of designated hitter CJ Cron and starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs. Even with neither of those players performing above-average, it was nice to see familiar faces in the dugout and on the field.
With those two back in action, karma decided to swoop in, in the form of a fouled pitch into the head of LA Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar. Unfortunately, this landed Escobar on the 7-day concussion DL, putting a stop on his dominant 2016 season.
Escobar, a first-year Angel, was signed this offseason to replace David Freese after prospect Kaleb Cowart showed he was not ready to handle the hot corner in the big leagues this year. Escobar, 33, hit .314 with 9 home runs and 56 RBI’s for the Nationals last year in a season that most thought would be an outlier in his career. However, after signing with the Angels, he has hit .320 with 3 home runs and 36 RBI’s, handling the lead-off spot.
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Besides Mike Trout, Escobar’s spot in the lineup is perhaps the most important. When he’s on base, that gives Kole Calhoun, Trout, and Albert Pujols a chance to hit him in. Those odds are better than any other spot in the lineup, and any runs the Angels’ offense can get is a much needed one.
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In the ten games before the injury, Escobar was on quite the hot steak, hitting .342 with five runs. But once again, Lady Luck was not on the Angels side and took away a top three offensive player for the Angels leaving Cowart, the man Escobar was brought in to serve as a stop gap for, to replace him. While Cowart has played well in the few games he has, it has been so from the bottom of the lineup, which takes away most of his chances for RBI’s.
This injury to Escobar hits a sore spot for Angels fans everywhere. Ever since Halo legend Troy Gluas left the team, the hot corner has been manned by the likes of Chone Figgins, Maicer Izturis, Andrew Romine, Alberto Callaspo, and Freese. Most of them were fan-favorites, but their production never matched the love the fans had for them. The tables were turned with Escobar though, as he has easily been the most productive third baseman in recent memory for the Angels. However, he has gone relatively unnoticed with Calhoun and Trout holding the hearts of Halo fans everywhere for the foreseeable future.
While this injury has temporarily stopped his hot streak and career season, there is no doubt Escobar will come back from the DL and continue to hit the ball and get on base for the rest of the Angels’ lineup to hit him in.