Eduardo Escobar was signed to be the starting third baseman for the New York Mets this year. Well, after 102 games, 409 plate appearances, and a rather disappointing .216/.269/.384 stint with the club before landing on the IL, they could be rethinking exactly how they use him.
We should still see Escobar plenty at third base. Brett Baty hasn’t been the Lou Gehrig to his Wally Pipp. However, when it comes to roster construction, Escobar could give the Mets a little more variety.
Being able to play more than third base would be incredibly important for the Mets. While we all assumed he could play second base, the occasional appearance at shortstop can allow the Mets to get a little more creative upon Escobar’s return and in September when rosters expand.
Eduardo Escobar can help the Mets much more with some defensive versatility
The Mets don’t have a major need at shortstop right now with Francisco Lindor playing there every day. There lies the problem, though. It’s the limited options behind him. Down Luis Guillorme as well at the moment, the Mets had to build a roster with Yolmer Sanchez on it to ensure they at least had someone capable of playing the position if needed.
Escobar being trusted enough to play shortstop in a spot start or emergency situation can allow the Mets to expand their horizons. Do they continue to carry three catchers? Is one of them Francisco Alvarez at some point? Let’s not forget Mark Vientos whose right-handed bat could always be a weapon used for only in certain situations.
Most importantly, Escobar being the backup shortstop removes a limited player like Sanchez from getting hauled around on the team plane. He’s only here for one purpose. It’s to make sure there is a body that can play the position in case something happens to Lindor.
Between now and the end of the season, Lindor will at least need a day where he can be the team’s DH. Shortstop isn’t an easy position to play. If Escobar can even give them two starts at the position, it’s worth the heavy breath we’ll take in each time a ball is hit his way.