Escobar led off just 16 times while playing all 162 games during the regular season, but he's been the man atop the lineup in each of the Royals' first eight postseason games -- all wins. He'll be followed by right fielder Norichika Aoki, center fielder Lorenzo Cain, first baseman Eric Hosmer, designated hitter Billy Butler, left fielder Alex Gordon, catcher Salvador Perez, second baseman Omar Infante and third baseman Mike Moustakas.
Andrus said he's already lost 10 pounds since the end of the year, and is hoping to lose 10 additional pounds going forward. Andrus struggled this past season, hitting .263/.314/.333 over 619 at-bats.
Dombrowski told MLive.com that he didn't want to "anoint" Iglesias as the starter because Brad Ausmus and his coaching staff deserves to make that determination after seeing him perform in spring training. But he added that the medical prognosis looks good.
"The doctors tell me he'll be fine," Dombrowski said. "The doctors tell me he's going to be ready for spring training."
There would appear to be no strong candidate to compete with Iglesias if he picks up where he left off in 2013, when he batted .303 and played sterling defense. They used several players at shortstop, none of whom performed particularly well.
In the ninth inning, Escobar smacked a double down the right field line, bringing in the go-ahead run for Kansas City. Escobar would come around to score on a single later in the inning, padding the Royals lead. He finished 1 for 5, with one run scored and one RBI.
Hardy hit .268 with a .372 slugging percentage, .682 OPS, nine home runs, 28 doubles and 52 RBI in 141 games this season for Baltimore. It was the first time in four seasons he had less than 20 home runs and the second time in his career he struck out (104) more than 100 times.
Hardy is a career .261 hitter with a .422 slugging percentage, .734 OPS, 167 home runs and 579 RBI in 1,259 regular season games. He is a two-time All-Star and won AL Gold Gloves in 2012 and 2013.
The deal is expected to be announced Thursday. Hardy was set to become a free agent in the offseason.
"That's a great question and I don't know if I really have the answer right now," McClendon said. "I thought Taylor played extremely well defensively. I'm still intrigued about what Miller is capable of doing from an offensive standpoint. I guess to answer your question, yeah, it's probably wide open."
After two years of hitting at least 15 home runs, Lowrie saw his power fall in 2014, hitting .249/.321/.355 with just six home runs and 50 RBI in 502 at-bats. He enters free agency with a career .261/.330/.411 line along with 56 home runs and 284 RBI in 2,253 career at-bats.