TORONTO -- Manager John Farrell said on Friday that there is no truth to the recent reports suggesting Yunel Escobar has been a problem in the Blue Jays' clubhouse.
A report on ESPN.com suggested that Escobar's bad reputation is having a negative impact on his market value around the league. If that's the case, it comes as news to Farrell, who said Toronto has not experienced any issues with its veteran shortstop.
"I've seen it as well," Farrell said of the report. "Unfounded as far as I'm concerned. I can't speculate, or have any understanding of where they originate from, but I did see [those] comments and again, completely unfounded."
Escobar initially developed a reputation of causing problems in the clubhouse a few years ago when he was on the Braves. He reportedly clashed with Chipper Jones and then manager Bobby Cox.
Since a midseason trade to Toronto in 2010, though, those reports had disappeared until this week. But they were once again brought up by some members of the American media as Escobar has become frequently mentioned in trade rumors prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline.
The apparent gossip is something players have to deal with more than ever before thanks to a 24-hour news cycle and the emergence of social media in the way teams and players are covered. That has the chance to create additional turmoil, but is also one of the main reasons players are put through media training before each season.
"If a player allows it to be, it can be more distraction," Farrell said. "But that's why we've spent a lot of time in the offseason with young players -- and through Spring Training -- on media training. Once again, going back to the things that they can control. Wire reports are just that, they're wire reports, founded or unfounded."
Escobar, who is hitting .255 with six home runs and 34 RBIs, was held out of Toronto's lineup on Friday because of tightness in his lower back. He was originally cleared after going through early work at Rogers Centre, but eventually became a late scratch.
The Cuban native has now missed three consecutive games, but the Blue Jays maintain this is a relatively minor issue and not something he was dealing with earlier in the year.
Designated hitter Adam Lind was also scratched from Toronto's lineup less than 90 minutes before first pitch due to back tightness.
"This caught us by surprise a little bit," Farrell said after Friday night's 8-3 victory over Detroit. "He experienced some tightness in the mid-back, not in the same area where he suffered a year ago. During batting practice it continued to tighten up on him and clearly wasn't able to go tonight."