SAN DIEGO -- Yunel Escobar has been concerned about his left shoulder for the past three weeks. The uncertainty regarding the cause of his discomfort will decrease on Monday, when he undergoes an MRI exam that will show whether his shoulder has any structural damage.
Escobar strained his left shoulder while diving back into first base on June 24 and then aggravated the injury on Wednesday while tagging Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp as he slid into second base. He was scratched from the lineup for Friday night's series opener against the Padres, and unless he's needed for defensive purposes, he won't play again this weekend.
"We're going to sit him for four days and then four more days during the [All-Star] break," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "Maybe it will settle down."
Whether Escobar is available next Friday, when the Braves resume play after the All-Star break, remains questionable. After Friday night's loss to the Padres, Cox said his 25-year-old "has a lot of issues in [his shoulder]."
When asked if he was worried, Escobar nodded with confirmation. But he's still maintaining some optimism and hoping that he won't need to go on the disabled list.
"At this point I can't say," Escobar said with right-handed reliever Vladimir Nunez serving as his interpreter. "We have to go through everything first and then see what happens."
When Escobar initially suffered this strain, he missed eight consecutive games. Upon his return to the lineup on July 2, he admitted he was still feeling some pain. But the cortisone shot he'd received two days earlier did progressively bring him some relief.
Still it has been tough for Escobar to show any consistency since suffering this injury.
In the eight games he played since July 2, he's batted .211 (8-for-38). Four of those eight hits came during Sunday's 17-inning win over the Astros.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.