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Edwin Encarnacion's role in 2012

Here’s hoping Edwin Encarnacion‘s left field is a whole lot better than his third base.

After picking his $3.5 million option for 2012, AA expressed the clubs interest in having EE try his hand in left.

“The fact that Edwin can play multiple positions, and now he’s going to be playing some left field in winter ball as well, will open up some flexibility,” he said. “As we sit here today, the role would primarily be DH but we like he can play some first, play some third and we’d like to find out a little bit more about him in left field.”

Flexibility is the key word, as the Jays seem set on getting Encarnacion in the lineup everyday next season. Having the ability to play left field and first base is particularly important because each position features left handed hitters who have struggled against left handed pitching.

Left Field:

Eric Thames:

.209/.242/.345

wOBA .273

Travis Snider:

.212/.260/.314

wOBA .257

Edwin Encarnacion:

.266/.365/.476

wOBA .365 

The samples for Snider and Thames are small, but they would lead me to at least consider insurance in case their abhorrent splits continue. If EE can actually play the outfield, he could be that insurance.

First Base:

Adam Lind:

.223/.266/.349

wOBA .270

After 659 career plate appearances against southpaws, I think the jury is in on Lind’s ability to play every day. At the very least, the Jays need to consider moving Lind out of the clean up spot against left handed starters.

***

As AA stated, if the season opened today, EE would be primarily used as the DH. The season however, does not start today. Free agency just opened and the winter meeting are still weeks away, giving the Jays lots of time to shake up the lineup. While the DH market is pretty thin, it is not inconceivable that AA could pull off a move that would dramatically change the look of the 2012 team. The more positional flexibility for Encarnacion, the easier it will be for AA to make an effective deal.

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Tags: Adam Lind Edwin Encarnacion Eric Thames Travis Snider

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