I should preface this by saying that Yunel Escobar is one of my favourite Jays and I really appreciate what he can do as a hitter as well as a defender. But lets go back to April 6 Yunel Escobar fails to run out a fly ball which David DeJesus loses in the lights. As a result he arrives late at third base on what should have been a stand up triple and decides to slide head first into Andy LaRoche’s knee causing him to miss time with a mild concussion. So that’s great. Now I’m watching the guy April 13th (his 4th full game back from missing time) and again he doesn’t run out a ball down the line in Seattle which he thinks is going to land foul. Lucky for him the ball bounces into the stands for a ground rule double.
I’ve seen a lot of plays last season from him where he just won’t run hard and that’s only half a season! Now two more plays early on, it’s extremely frustrating. I can forgive mistakes with effort, what I can’t forgive are mistakes without effort. Bobby Cox and the Atlanta Braves got tired of seeing this. If you can’t play for Bobby Cox, you can’t play for anybody. Running out ground balls and fly balls is nothing more than mental toughness. If you hit the ball at the shortstop you need to punish yourself by running out the play and forcing the defence to rush the throw. Being traded to the Jays should have been a wake up call.
Does Escobar have the mental toughness hidden somewhere deep inside him to change this bad habit? Can hustle be taught or is that something that comes from within?
What will it take for Yunel to change his mindset?