Anyone who has ever stepped up to the plate realizes this game can be a humbling experience, a vicious cycle consisting of hot streaks and freezing-cold slumps. As the legendary Crash Davis once stated: “A player on a streak has to respect the streak”.
If one stumbles out of the starting gate and the name in the lineup card reads R.A.Dickey or Colby Rasmus, feel free to hit the panic button. However, when a player with the name Edwin Encarnacion above his locker hits a bump on the road, you ride it out without a second thought.
Through his first 10 games, EE performed at an abysmal level, one that included a .162 BA, .514 OPS, and goose eggs posted in the HR and RBI categories. Fast forward to 19 games in, and Encarnacion was slowly but surely beginning to regain his footing, while finally delivering his first blast of the season in game 20.
Was offseason wrist surgery the major cause? Well, witnessing bats flying into the crowd during his trips to the plate was not an encouraging sign.
If you knew never to lose faith in the slugger, you have recently been rewarded. To those who continue to drive his struggles into the ground predicting a season of failures, you’ll eventually be kicking yourself for shouting such blasphemy.
Six RBIs in his last six games is just the tip of the iceberg, folks, as an offensive onslaught is about to materialize. Is there a need to break out the Encarnacion history textbook? Anyone remember the one about his seventh-ranked SLG of .534, and his ninth-ranked walk rate of 13.2 percent? Or perhaps you dig the long ball — does sitting third only to Miguel Cabrera and Chris Davis on the home run list over the last two seasons ring a bell?
The rust is beginning to fade away, and the wrist is getting stronger each time out. Sit back and enjoy the upcoming ride.