The Tampa Bay Rays sit at the bottom of the American League in most offensive categories. Shortstop Yunel Escobar is not helping his team out with his dismal play at the plate. Escobar must pull it together on offense in order to contribute.
The 30-year-old is batting .104 (5-for-48) with three RBI, two runs and 12 strikeouts through the first 14 games of the season. There is no question Escobar is better than what his performance has indicated. In fact, the lowest batting average he has ever finished a season occurred last year when he hit .253 in 145 games.
“I’m really disappointed [about the start],” Escobar said through a translator, according to TampaBayRays.com. “It’s the first time in my career that I’ve started like that. I’m trying my best to get back to where I was. The season is young still, so I hope I will start doing what I can do really soon.”
The six-year veteran certainly has a point about that. The 2013 Major League Baseball season is only in its third week, which means he has plenty of time to turn around the meager start. With that being said, it is not uncommon for players to fall into a long slump that lasts a majority of the season. If Escobar cannot figure it out sooner rather than later, he may never be able to climb out of the hole he has dug.
The first reaction would be to think that the Cuba native is simply not seeing the ball well. However, Escobar insists that is not what the problem is, but rather, his hits are simply not coming when he makes good contact.
“I’m seeing the ball well,” Escobar told TampaBayRays.com. “I just don’t know what’s going on right now; that’s the toughest part. I’m just not getting the base hits.”
The good news is the Rays are not discouraged by Escobar’s rough start, at least not yet. Manager Joe Maddon has every intention of sticking with his player until the right-handed batter can push through his struggles.