Escobar's defense valued by Brewers

Escobar's defense valued by Brewers

ST. LOUIS -- Brewers manager Ken Macha gave a vote of confidence in shortstop Alcides Escobar on Saturday when asked about how he weighs a player's defensive impact versus his offensive contribution.

Escobar has struggled at the plate for most of the season, hitting .246 with a .298 on-base percentage and .335 slugging percentage. The shortstop has a 73 OPS+, ranking him in the bottom 10 of players qualified in the National League.

But Escobar is viewed as one of the top defensive shortstops in the game, possessing a strong arm and speed combination few can match.

"I think a lot of teams have looked at the defensive zone ratings and how players impact the game with their defense a lot more then maybe they have in the recent past," Macha said, "because there was such an emphasis on on-base percentage and the impact an offensive player could have. It is maybe shifting around a little bit.

"What you should do is look at the overall impact a guy has on the game."

According to Macha, strong offensive contributions at other positions affords him the luxury of starting Escobar every day.

The Brewers rank second in the National League in runs scored.

"Ideally you would like to have your corners, first, third, left and right be very offensive players ... so that opens up the possibility of having a defensive player," Macha said.