Escobar on trade rumors; Calhoun improves

June 23rd, 2021

PHOENIX -- When D-backs manager Torey Lovullo ran into in the weight room Tuesday afternoon, he told the infielder that he was going to be out of the lineup for the second straight day.

Escobar insisted that his strained right quad was good enough to play.

"I thought I was going to have to wrestle with him," Lovullo said with a smile.

"I don’t like a day off, man," Escobar said. "I want to play every day. But I understand it’s a process. I feel great today. I took some ground balls, was throwing hard, ran the bases, hit and nothing bothered me with my leg. I’m feeling really good."

Escobar leads the D-backs in both home runs (15) and RBIs (45) while compiling a .743 OPS. The 32-year-old is in the final year of his contract and with the D-backs having fallen out of the postseason chase, he is a prime candidate to be dealt before next month's Trade Deadline.

There have been rumors that the White Sox are among the teams interested, but Escobar is trying not to focus on that.

"I don’t know if I’ll be traded," Escobar said. "My job is to come here every day, bring some energy, work hard. I love it here. I want to stay here. But I don’t have any control over that. The only thing I can control is to play hard and help my team win here."

Escobar has been traded twice in his career. The first was from the White Sox to the Twins just before the Deadline in 2012 and he remembers the news caused him to burst into tears.

The second time he was dealt was to the D-backs just before the Deadline in 2018 and he actually found out from a teammate.

"I remember I was hitting in the cage and it was around 5 p.m." Escobar said. "We’re in Boston. Brian Dozier comes into the cage and says, 'Esky, you’re traded.' I said, 'Get out of here, I’m concentrating, I’m trying to get focused tonight to play the game.' He said, ‘No, I’m serious, you got traded.’ I got back into the clubhouse and saw everybody; they were surprised and were looking at me. Five minutes later, the bench coach said, 'Escobar, go to the office' and [manager Paul] Molitor told me I was traded. I hadn’t seen my name a lot before. But I said, I’m a professional I respect the decision of the front office or whatever."

Calhoun getting closer

Outfielder Kole Calhoun, who is on the 60-day injured list following surgery on his left hamstring, thinks he is getting close to a return.

Calhoun has been taking live batting practice, but hasn't run hard out of the batter's box. He hopes to start doing that this Thursday and, if all goes well, maybe go out on an injury-rehab assignment Monday.

"That’s what I’m hoping for," he said. "I’m just hoping this thing responds each day. We’ll kind of go from there. I don’t want to come back and worry about myself. I want to come back and help the team and feel confident I’m completely healthy."