"I try to look at our lineup now and at the end of the year; I try to look at our lineup next year and at the end of next year," manager Ned Yost said. "He fits perfectly as a No. 2 hitter. He can hit the ball the other way, he's our best situational hitter, he's our best bunter, he's got speed and he's taking walks. He's doing all the things you want a No. 2 hitter to do."
Escobar went into the series opener against the Blue Jays with a .310 average after batting .254 last year.
"Now it's time that we start at least trying to do it with the mindset of developing him as a No. 2 hitter in our lineup," Yost said.
Yost dropped Yuniesky Betancourt from second to fifth.
"Yuni's been our No. 1 run producer and the five-spot is a big run-producing spot, and especially in the last two or three weeks he's really driving in runs," Yost said.