No rest in offing for Royals' iron man Escobar

All-Star shortstop has started all 79 games for Kansas City

No rest in offing for Royals' iron man Escobar

PHILADELPHIA -- At one point a few weeks ago, Royals manager Ned Yost sat in his office at Kauffman Stadium and wondered out loud when and if he would give his All-Star shortstop, Alcides Escobar, a day off.

It would appear that day isn't in the near future.

Yost has taken care to give catcher Salvador Perez and first baseman Eric Hosmer half-days (DH only), and has built in days off for second baseman Whit Merrifield, left fielder Alex Gordon and third baseman Cheslor Cuthbert.

But not Escobar, who has started all 78 games entering Friday night's game against the Phillies. He was in the starting lineup again Friday.

"He doesn't need one right now," Yost said.

And why does Yost think that?

"I know him," Yost said. "I know when he needs a day. He doesn't need it right now."

What are the signs Escobar needs rest?

"Starts dragging a little bit," Yost said. "He's not dragging."

Yost might be right. Escobar is the hottest Royal not named Kendrys Morales. Escobar extended his hitting streak to 12 games in Friday's 4-3 loss in Philadelphia with two doubles.

"He's swinging it pretty good right now," Yost said.

Escobar scored the Royals' first run when he doubled with two out in the second and scored on Cheslor Cuthbert's single.

Cuthbert's RBI single

Escobar doubled to lead off the seventh but was stranded there. That turned out to be a big missed opportunity in a one-run loss.

"You would like to take advantage of that," Yost said. "But again, we just didn't."

Escobar most likely will be back in the starting lineup all the way to the All-Star break. And that's fine with him.

"I like to play," Escobar said. "I like to play every day. When the team gets a day off, I'll take a day off."

That has been Escobar's mantra since he became a Royal in 2011. In his first four seasons with the Royals, he missed only 15 games. In 2014, he played all 162 regular-season games, then played every game in the postseason as the Royals advanced to Game 7 of the World Series.

Escobar's durability is something he wears as a badge.

"I've played all 162 in a season and at least 155 in the others before last year," Escobar said.

Last season, Escobar missed 14 games, nine of those due to injury.

Missing games simply isn't in his DNA.

"Every time I do get a day off, I would rather play," Escobar said. "Sometimes I get tired, feel a little tired. But I don't like not playing. I don't like it. I feel bummed. I feel down. It's like, 'Oh, my gosh, I want to play.'"

Well, Escobar is getting his wish.

Jeffrey Flanagan has covered the Royals since 1991, and for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter @FlannyMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.