Edwin Encarnacion is Toronto Blue Jays’ One Bright Spot
The evil twins of losing baseball, Awful and Horrible, returned to Oriole Park at Camden Yards tonight.
Edwin Encarnacion was the one bright spot in the Jays’ half of the box score.
His first inning solo homer, number 42 of the season and RBI number 107, gave the Jays an early 1-0 lead. The homer tied him with Triple Crown candidate Miguel Cabrera for second place in the American League, one behind Josh Hamilton.
This has been a remarkable season for the young man from La Romana, Dominican Republic, whom the Jays twice tried to give away.
They designated him for assignment in June 2010, but brought him back from Las Vegas two weeks later. On the season’s last day, he hit his 20th homer, making him the seventh Jay with 20 or more that year, and maybe the only player who’s ever hit 20 for the team that designated him in the same season.
That winter, Encarnacion was waived by the Jays and signed by the Oakland Athletics. The A’s didn’t offer him a contract for 2011. He became a free agent, and signed a two year deal with the Jays that December.
Add to his homers and RBIs a .282 average, 81 walks, 13 steals, and 147 games played of a possible 155, and you have one of the top all-around number three hitters in the major leagues.
He’ll also end the season on the short list of players who have hit 40 or more homers for a last place team.
Edwin Encarnacion’s presence in the order ahead of a restored and healthy Jose Bautista gives Blue Jay fans a huge reason to anticipate Opening Day 2013.