Yunel Escobar was out of the Nationals’ lineup Saturday night, still feeling the effects of Friday night’s collision down the third-base line with the wall and a fan seated in the front row.
Escobar said he was “feeling a little better” the day after suffering the injury, via a club spokesperson, but offered no timetable for his return. Manager Matt Williams said he would be available off the bench against the Brewers, but that probably is a last resort in case of emergency.
“He’s a little sore today, to be expected,” Williams said. “A little tight upper trap and neck. So he’s not in the starting lineup today. We’ll treat him aggressively and he would be available off the bench. But we’re going to give him a day.”
Escobar hurt himself trying to track down a foul popup hit by Ryan Braun in the top of the first inning Friday night. He missed a tough, over-the-shoulder catch by a few inches, then slammed his lower body into the low wall along the warning track while his head struck the chest of a male fan seated in the front row. Escobar’s neck snapped backward as the man fell to the ground.
With Escobar sidelined, the Nationals stuck with the same defensive alignment they used for most of Friday’s game, with Anthony Rendon at third base and Danny Espinosa at second base. Rookie Trea Turner, who made his major-league debut late in Friday’s loss, remained on the bench Saturday.
Meanwhile, the other currently injured member of the Nationals’ regular lineup, Denard Span, was back playing for Class AA Harrisburg on Saturday night, the center fielder’s fifth minor-league rehab game.
Span, on the disabled list since early July with a lower back strain, was 4-for-10 with two walks and a stolen base in his first four rehab games. He was scheduled to play seven innings Saturday.
Teammates Dan Uggla, David Carpenter and Reed Johnson also are currently on rehab at Harrisburg, though Johnson has been shut down the last couple of days after getting hit by a pitch, according to Williams.