"The Royals re-sign Alcides Escobar to a one year deal for $2.5M"
- several sports types during some point of the offseason
Remember to always look at the details, and in the case of Alcides Escobar, he has "performance" bonuses, lots of them.
Escobar also has bonuses for being the MVP and World Series MVP, but those are actually fairly standard for contracts (really).
But that ads up as 19 bonuses of $75,000. Today, Alcides Escobar collected his 7th Plate Appearance bonus by reaching Plate Appearance 275.
So, how has Alcides Escobar's season looked in Alcides Units?
The road for the first bonus: From March 29th to May 4th, Alcides Escobar accumulated 125 plate appearances. Over that time, Escobar hit 232/290/348 with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer, 7 walks, and 12 strikeouts. So, pretty much close to what he's been as a hitter for most of The Streak.
Escobar's 125th plate appearance was a 4-3 groundout in the bottom of the 6th of a scoreless game against the Tigers.
Bonus 2 (PAs 126 to 150): Escobar was intentionally walked in his 126th plate appearance, This tactic did not work for Ron Gardenhire and the Tigers. The Royals won that game, coming from behind (after pitching Blaine Boyer in a scoreless game).
From May 4th to 11th, Escobar effortlessly amassed 25 plate appearances. He hit 273/360/273 with 6 singles in 22 at-bats. He also drew 3 more walks and struck out 3 times.
Escobar's 150th plate appearance was an RBI single against Evan Marshall in Cleveland.
Bonus 3 (PAs 151 to 175): From May 11th to 19th, Escobar picked up 25 more plate appearances, hitting 217/240/217. He picked up 5 singles in 23 at-bats. He drew a walk and had a sacrifice fly.
Escobar's 175th plate appearance was a strikeout against Aroldis Chapman.
Bonus 4 (PAs 176 to 200): From May 20th to 26th, Escobar collected 25 more plate appearances, hitting 261/292/304. He went 6 for 23 with a double. He also drew another walk and struck out 4 more times.
Escobar's 200th PA was a lineout to second base against Bartolo Colon.
Bonus 4 (PAs 201 to 225): From May 26th to June 2nd, Escobar seized 25 more plate appearances, hitting 208/240/417. He went 5 for 24 with a triple and home run. He didn't draw a walk and struck out another 3 times.
Escobar's 225th PA was a groundball to the shortstop against Trevor Cahill.
Here's where it starts to get really bad.
Bonus 6 (PAs 226 to 250): From June 2nd to June 9th, 2018, Escobar pirated 25 more plate appearances, hitting 125/160/250. He went 3 for 24 with a home run and two singles. He drew another walk and struck out 3 times.
Escobar's 250th PA was a walk against Chris Bassitt.
Escobar's first 125 PAs, repeating information from above: 232/290/348 with 8 doubles, a triple, and a home run. 7 walks and 12 strikeouts.
Escobar's next 125 PAs: 216/258/293 with 1 double, 1 triple, and 2 home run. Yep, Escobar's doubles game disappeared quietly, didn't it?
Bonus 7 (PAs 251 to 275): From June 9th to June 17th, 2018, Escobar stood at the plate with a bat 25 more times, hitting 040/040/040. He went 1 for 25. At the risk of unintentionally plagiarizing Ryan Landreth, Escobar played every single inning of every game over this period of time. He struck out 3 more times also.
His 275th PA was a groundout to the third baseman against Ken Giles.
So, Escobar is 2 for his last 44. He has 4 hits in his last 50 PAs. He has 15 hits in his last 100 PAs. If this was a player who didn't have a manager-inflicted consecutive games streak going, Escobar wouldn't be playing every single day.
If this was anybody else, the line of reasoning would be that "he's 2 for his last 44, he needs a stay off to clear his head". But never Escobar. Ever.
Alcides Escobar has played 404 consecutive games, and for most of that streak, his hitting has been "File Not Found". He has hit 248/277/344 over his streak, with Escobar being held hitless in 140 games of the 404 game streak. At least when Cal Ripken Jr was a below average bat from 1992 to 1995 (268/333/413, OPS+ of 96), he was about to break a record and he was posting years better than every year of Alcides Escobar's career. Alcides Escobar is a player without a chance in the world of playing 2600 consecutive games who is being played every day by a manager who has found ways to rest everybody else who isn't Alcides Escobar or Salvador Perez (Perez has played every day since late April, but has made DH starts if you believe that's an half offday).
The concept of a streak wasn't a distant concept back in 2015 when Escobar missed 14 games due to Brett Lawrie (2 games), a concussion after being hit in the head by a pitch (7 games), a split nail on his finger (1 game), and getting hit on the elbow by a pitch (2 games). Escobar was voluntarily held out of the lineup twice in September 2015. These days, there's almost a sense of pride in playing Escobar the next day after he got hit in the hand by a pitch or had something lead him to leave a game early.
Barring some team swooping in to save the Royals and Ned Yost from themselves, Alcides Escobar is probably gonna get another 162 game season along with the 19 bonuses while Escobar's overall value is a negative (his hitting being so bad that it wipes out whatever fielding value he has).
If one wants to entertain the concept of having Escobar posting a 25 PA stretch where he's not horrible, it might involve such things as "not flying out to the outfield over and over". Over a period close to the same period of his last 100 PAs (May 20th to June 16th), Escobar has also had 18% of his PAs end with flyball outs, with no shortage of flyball outs to right field. Escobar had 8 doubles in his first 28 games and has hit 1 double in his last 43 games. At the risk of reminding all of you that every time Escobar goes into his super-slumps, it might actually involve him hitting a few home runs and getting into a habit of hitting balls into the air for easy outs.
For the sake of knowing what this franchise has in a player like Adalberto Mondesi, it's gonna be important for Alcides Escobar to not play for the Royals any more. Either by some weird series of events opening the market for bad shortstops or by the Royals just deciding to wake up one day and "Omar Infante" Escobar.
Until then, maybe Alcides Escobar shouldn't be getting appearance bonuses every 8 days because Ned is putting a streak ahead of the future of the team. He is so amazingly bad that it's taking days off of the lives of some people on Twitter.
And now you know how bad he's been going lately.