Escobar said Wednesday that he reported to spring training at 193 pounds, down from 214 pounds a season ago, Zach Buchanan of The Athletic reports. After Arizona brought in Asdrubal Cabrera in free agency over the winter, Escobar is expected to see more time at second base during the upcoming season. The increased work at the keystone likely factored into Escobar's decision to cut weight, but the 32-year-old's brutal showing at the plate in 2020 may have also played a factor in him changing his diet. After turning in a 113 wRC+ between the 2018 and 2019 seasons, Escobar slumped to a .212/.270/.335 slash line (56 wRC+) over his 222 plate appearances in 2020. Escobar's underlying numbers painted a slightly rosier picture (.263 xBA, .395 xSLG) of his performance, but fantasy players shouldn't be counting on a major bounceback from a slimmed-down Escobar in 2021, especially in the power department.
Escobar isn't starting the second game of Friday's doubleheader against the Rockies. Escobar drove in a run during the Diamondbacks' 4-0 win in the first game of the twin bill, but he'll play a bench role for Game 2. Wyatt Mathisen will start at third base.
Escobar is not in the lineup for Friday's game against the Astros. Escobar has been quite disappointing at the plate this season, hitting .194/.263/.320. He's gone hitless in his last three games. Josh VanMeter will be the third baseman Friday.
Escobar is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Mariners. Escobar will receive a veteran's day off after starting in each of the previous five games and going a collective 5-for-21 with three doubles and an RBI. Josh VanMeter will spell Escobar at third base and bat second for the Diamondbacks.
Escobar is out of the lineup for Monday's game against the Giants. Wyatt Mathisen will pick up his first big-league start at third base in place of Escobar, who went 4-for-13 with a double, an RBI and a run in the first three games of the season. Though he's seen his OPS drop more than 200 points from his 2019 mark (.831), Escobar is still expected to handle an everyday role as the 15-26 Diamondbacks play out the string on a losing season. He may be subject to one or two off days per week, however, as the Diamondbacks look to give opportunities to some of their younger infielders.