The Toronto Blue Jays are in the top five in MLB in batting average, base percentage, slugging percentage, and runs scored. Today, the rich got richer with the return of slugging first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.
Encarnacion went on the DL on July 6 with a quad injury, and at that point his team had held onto first place in the AL East for 42 days. Now a little over a month later, the Blue Jays have have hit a rough patch and find themselves 7.5 games behind the surging Baltimore Orioles. Though it is highly unlikely that any team in the AL East can catch up to the O’s with six weeks remaining, the Blue Jays do have some hope being only 3.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot.
The addition of Encarnacion to the already dangerous lineup is a big help to the Jays. The first baseman still leads the club in home runs (26) and only trails Jose Bautista by two RBIs for the team lead. His right-handed power will add depth and protection to the middle of the lineup, and help the Jays score more runs as the playoff race continues to heat up.
It will not be easy for the franchise that has been having pitching difficulties all season and is competing with five other teams, but assuming they can stay healthy, the Blue Jays will be a factor throughout the playoff race.