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Struggling with glove, Escobar to sit 2 games

July 6, 2010

MILWAUKEE — After three costly errors in two days, the Brewers hope a couple of days off will help rookie shortstop Alcides Escobar get back on track defensively.

Following Monday night’s 6-1 loss, Brewers manager Ken Macha said he planned to give Escobar two of the last six games off before the All-Star break. The Brewers manager confirmed Tuesday that those two would be Tuesday and Wednesday against the Giants.

With the days off for Escobar, the rookie got out early Tuesday afternoon, putting some extra defensive work in with bench coach Willie Randolph while also taking early batting practice with hitting coach Dale Sveum.

“I want to give him a couple days off here, let him clear his mind,” Macha said. “You’re breaking in these shortstops or second basemen. … The game goes real fast here and it’s a very extremely demanding and difficult position.

“You take a look at some of the great shortstops, they had a lot of errors in their rookie year. You’ve got to have patience with these guys.”

Escobar entered Tuesday ranked second in the Major Leagues with 14 errors, six behind fellow rookie shortstop Ian Desmond, who had 20 errors in 75 games for the Nationals.

By comparison, Derek Jeter committed 22 errors over 156 games in 1996, when he was named American League Rookie of the Year. Escobar’s fellow Venezuelan native, Omar Vizquel, committed 18 errors in 143 games as a rookie.

“You have to look at him and evaluate his hands, his arm and his range, and know that they’re going to have some plays that they’re going to screw up,” Macha said. “I don’t want it to get into his head that every play is like life and death.”

While Macha does not want his rookie shortstop to be worried about every individual play, he added that with the three errors over the last two days being so costly, it did have some educational value for Escobar.

“It just so happened that the couple plays in the last couple days have been big factors in the games,” Macha said. “That also lets him know what the gravity of that position is. There’s a high demand on good defense at the shortstop position.”

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