"With our situation right now, I'm just going to keep playing him at short because he's swinging so good and playing well," Gardenhire said. "We'll use the other guys as best as we can. We've always liked what he's brought to the table as energetic kid but he's a talented one, too. He won a Gold Glove in Venezuela and he's swinging the heck out of it so he's fun to put out there."
As Gardenhire noted, Escobar did win a Gold Glove for his efforts at shortstop during the Venezuelan Winter League during the offseason. He rates as an above-average defender but Gardenhire admitted he's not quite as good defensively as fellow shortstop Pedro Florimon, who was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on May 8 because of his struggles offensively.
"He's doing fine," Gardenhire said. "He's moving all right. But you get spoiled around here with Florimon moving all over the place. He has those long arms and it seemed like he could reach and get anything. But Escobar handles himself just fine. He gets to the balls he's supposed to catch and has a really strong arm. So he does fine but probably not as much range as the other guy but still a lot."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.