The Pirates optioned Escobar to Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Pittsburgh will ship out Escobar to the farm after he was blitzed for five runs on five hits and four walks over two innings of relief in Wednesday's 14-8 loss to the Cardinals. Alex McRae was summoned from Triple-A to fill Escobar's spot on the active roster and in the Pittsburgh bullpen.
Escobar was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday.
The 23-year-old didn't have much of a reputation prior to this season, as he'd topped out at Double-A Altoona, where he'd posted a 4.54 ERA and a 15.9 percent strikeout rate in seven starts. Pitching mostly out of the bullpen this year, his numbers have been almost unrecognizable. In 49.2 frames split between Indianapolis and High-A Bradenton, he owns a 1.99 ERA and a 27.7 percent strikeout rate, though his 4.26 FIP and 12.6 percent walk rate provide reasons not to get too excited.
Escobar will open the year at High-A Bradenton, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports.
It was reported early in spring training that he was optioned to Triple-A, but he will instead head back to High-A, were he logged a 3.98 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 85:38 K:BB in 92.2 innings last year. He will likely spend most of the year at Double-A, where he logged a 4.54 ERA and 25:21 K:BB in 35.2 innings in 2018.
The Pirates optioned Escobar to Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday.
Considering Escobar hasn't pitched above the Double-A level, he wasn't a serious candidate to win an Opening Day role with the Pirates. He'll likely occupy a spot in the Indianapolis rotation throughout 2019 after turning in a 4.24 ERA and 1.29 WHIP across 128.1 innings between Double-A Altoona and High-A Bradenton a season ago.
Escobar was suspended by the Pirates on Sunday for a violation of club policies, Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic Pittsburgh reports.
The nature of the violation is not clear, but it appears that Escobar has been suspended for the rest of the season. The 22-year-old has a 4.54 ERA in seven starts for Double-A Altoona this season.
Escobar will open the 2018 season at High-A Bradenton.
The Pirates optioned some minor leaguers from big-league camp Friday, with Escobar being among them. Despite not having pitched above Low-A, the Pirates added Escobar to the 40-man roster earlier this offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, which illustrates how much they value him. Improving his command and secondary pitches will be critical if he hopes to remain a starter. If he scuffles, the Pirates may be tempted to fast-track him as a reliever, as he is taking up a 40-man roster spot and might be two or three years away from being ready to start in the majors.
Escobar was added to the Pirates' 40-man roster Monday, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports.
The 21-year-old right-hander has yet to advance past the low levels of the minor leagues, so he's still a ways off, but Escobar is now protected from the Rule 5 draft. He battled some walk issues with Low-A West Virginia last season but struck out 29.9 percent of the batters he faced and allowed just nine homers in 131.2 innings, resulting in a 3.52 FIP.
|8/25/2019 vs Cincinnati|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
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|More Pitching Stats|
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2015||ASX-West Virginia Black||0||0||5.68||2||2||0||0||0||6.1||7||5||4||0||0||4||5|
|2016||ASX-West Virginia Black||6||5||2.93||15||12||0||0||0||67.2||50||25||22||4||8||28||61|
|2017||AFX-West Virginia Power||10||7||3.83||26||25||1||1||0||131.2||97||60||56||9||13||60||168|