Escobar was released by the Indians on Tuesday to allow him to pursue an opportunity to play in Japan this year, the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Zack Meisel reports. The 24-year-old southpaw was on his third organization in the calendar year, and was only going to serve as organizational bullpen depth if he remained with the Indians this season.
Escobar was designated for assignment by the Indians on Thursday, MLB.com's Jordan Bastian reports. Escobar was claimed by the Indians in mid-November to provide bullpen depth, but will ultimately be deemed expendable, as the team needed his roster spot to make room for free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion's official signing. If he doesn't get claimed off waivers by a team looking for left-handed bullpen depth, Escobar could elect to remain with the organization in the minors.
Escobar was claimed off waivers by the Indians on Friday. He pitched 23.2 innings out of the Diamondbacks' bullpen last year, ending up with a 7.23 ERA and 1.90 WHIP, so Arizona understandably thought they could sneak him through waivers. It is possible he can carve out a role as a low-leverage option against southpaws for the Indians in 2017.
Escobar was recalled from Triple-A Reno on Monday. Escobar will replace Adam Loewen in Arizona's bullpen, returning to the majors for the first time since July 17. He should once again serve in middle relief but will look for better results than he's had with the Diamondbacks previously this season.
Escobar was optioned to Triple-A Reno on Sunday. Although the Diamondbacks are hurting for rotation depth, Escobar is headed back to the minors after a three-day stint in the majors that included just one relief appearance. He has a 15.95 ERA for the Diamondbacks (7.1 innings) and a 5.08 ERA for Triple-Reno (56.2 innings).
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