Eduardo Escobar is expected to be the Twins’ primary backup at shortstop, second and third base in 2015. He has played in 199 games with 158 starts over the previous two seasons. He has started 107 games at shortstop, 37 at third, 11 at second and three in the outfield.
Al Newman was the Twins’ primary backup at those infield positions for five seasons, which were bookended by World Series championships (1987-91). Newman played in 618 regular-season games, with 420 starts: 185 at second base, 137 at shortstop, 89 at third base, six in the outfield, one at first base and two as designated hitter.
Yes, two as DH, even though Newman had one career home run (in Montreal) and a .226 career batting average. “I explain that by pointing out Tom Kelly always had me playing on getaway days, and we all know that plate umpires have extra-large strike zones on getaway day,’’ Newman said.