Twins notes: Escobar's bat shows some pop

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 22, 2014 - 7:48 AM

– Trevor Plouffe leads the AL in doubles with 18, which is surprising enough. But the identity of the team’s second-most successful batter at getting to second base might shock you.

It doesn’t surprise Eduardo Escobar, though.

“I’m feeling like I should be hitting doubles,” the Twins’ starting shortstop said. “I feel great, and I’m concentrating more at home.”

The concentration undoubtedly helps, but Escobar says he’s adopted a new approach that has helped him pile up 12 doubles in just 22 starts this year, too. “I think I’m swinging harder. I’m trying to,” the Venezuelan said. Previous hitting coaches had tried to smooth out his swing, he said, but “I don’t like it when I go to home plate and use easy swing. Some guys can do that, but when I swing easy, I hit it on the ground.”

This year, he said, he has worked on his strength and is trying to swing harder to take advantage of it. He’s learned to pounce on pitches he can drive, and his manager has noticed the difference.

“He uses his legs pretty well. He drives through the ball [and] gets some bat speed generated by using his legs,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “There’s certain parts of the strike zone he can really cover. He likes to swing, you can tell that. If you make a mistake in the right spot, he kills it. He can hit it a long way for a little guy, because he uses his bottom half.”

Hello and goodbye

The Twins had barely arrived, and they already were packing up to leave.

Minnesota’s first visit to San Diego since 2008 lasted just two games, and the Twins were told to prepare to hustle to team buses and rush to the airport once Wednesday’s finale ended. The reason? The San Diego airport, located just off downtown and just downhill from a residential area, has an 11 p.m. curfew for takeoffs. The Twins’ charter plane was instructed to take off before curfew, whether the team had arrived for its flight to San Francisco or not. If the game ran long or went into extra innings, the team’s buses would rendezvous with the plane at the nearest U.S. airport that doesn’t have a curfew — Ontario, Calif., more than two hours north of here.

“It feels weird to be packing up already,” Gardenhire said before the game. “Quick trip.”

Actually, the trip includes a rare pair of days off, one on each side of this series at Petco Park, giving the half-dozen Californians on the roster time to see friends and relatives. Not all the Twins were catching the charter; a handful, assistant general manager Rob Antony said, had been given permission to stay back in Southern California and rejoin the club Friday in San Francisco.

The trip also includes some sight-seeing, and several members of the traveling party plan to golf, at some of the country’s most famous courses, on the off day.

And a delegation including Gardenhire, coach Terry Steinbach, reliever Brian Duensing and a few others were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the training base for the Navy Seals, some of the military’s most elite soldiers.


Outfielder Sam Fuld remains limited to walking and a few cardio exercises, but his concussion symptoms still don’t allow him to begin baseball activities, Antony said. But Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia have experienced no wrist pain at Class AAA Rochester, “and it’s just a matter of getting them at-bats now,” before they are called up, Antony said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Dallas 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Chicago 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
North Carolina 89
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
(2) Connecticut 96
Houston 50
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

Weekly Question