Escobar gets planned day off against Rangers

Escobar gets planned day off against Rangers

Escobar gets planned day off against Rangers
TORONTO -- Yunel Escobar was not in the Blue Jays' starting lineup Sunday afternoon, but the club said it had nothing to do with not running out a ground ball Saturday.

Escobar hit a grounder to Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler during the sixth inning of Saturday's game. Escobar appeared to jog down the first-base line before speeding up as he neared the bag.

The 28-year-old then exchanged some words with first-base umpire Marvin Hudson, because he felt Michael Young had not maintained contact with the base. That led to Escobar's ejection but not his benching for the series finale against Texas.

"That is in the process of being addressed, but today's day off is not reflective of that," manager John Farrell said of Escobar's lackadaisical run to first.

Farrell said Escobar's absence was just a normal day off. The Toronto skipper also gave Adam Lind a rest by starting Edwin Encarnacion at first base. Encarnacion made the most of his playing time immediately, crushing a two-run homer to left field in the first inning.

The decision was made because with an off-day looming on Monday, each player will receive an extended period of rest during the dog days of summer.

"When we have the opportunity, yeah," Farrell said when asked if he preferred giving players the back-to-back days off. "I think the fact that we're deep into July, obviously the end of July, guys have been going every day and it was a chance to give them a day off."

Escobar entered play Sunday ranked second in the American League during July in on-base percentage (.462), seventh in walks (13) and eighth in average (.367).

The Cuba native is batting .305, with nine home runs and 39 RBIs in 98 games this season.

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.