Toronto's shortstop had appeared in every game this year, but with an off-day looming on Monday, manager John Farrell felt it was an appropriate time to give Escobar an extended period of rest. In his place, Farrell deployed 45-year-old Omar Vizquel, who became the oldest player to appear at shortstop in a Major League game.
"I think the need to give him a day off, in combination with tomorrow, so he has two days down," Farrell said of Escobar. "It became pretty apparent on the schedule, he has played every inning of the season so far and while he is swinging the bat better of late I still think the overriding thing was an additional day of rest."
Escobar finished Sunday hitting just .254 with one home run and 12 RBIs this season but has been playing much better since being moved into the No. 2 spot of the lineup.
The native of Cuba was batting .500 (8-for-16) with three extra-base hits in six games leading up to Sunday and appeared to be settling into a groove that made him one of the club's best hitters in 2011.
Escobar's absence also prompted left fielder Eric Thames to move up to second in the batting order, which is where he spent the majority of his rookie campaign last season. Farrell wanted to get another lefty in the lineup against Angels right-hander Jerome Williams.
"When you look at how Williams has pitched against both righties and lefties, [I] wanted to get another left-handed bat towards the top of the lineup," Farrell said of the Angels starting pitcher. "With Yunel being down, it was a natural fit for Eric to fit into that spot."