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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

  • talesen

    I like flexibility as a concept, but I’m skeptical here. EE showed problems when he was forced to make adjustments this past year. We saw how he turned around his season once he did not have to worry about fielding.

    You touched on the trouble that EE can’t spell everyone vs. lefties. I think EE has potential to be an average-to-above-average everyday DH who can play a little 1B if needed to let Lind sit vs. lefties. But then we’re exposed by batting Snider and Thames (LF and DH) or else play Rajai. Perhaps AA shuffles the team a little to balance things out yet.

  • jerkstore

    “After 659 career plate appearances against southpaws, I think the jury is out…”

    I would say we have seen plenty of Lind against lefties. Between his wearing down last season and his poor career performance against lefties i see no reason to not have him be the dominant side of a platoon at 1B.

    2009 was his best year against lefties. .335 wOBA, wRC+ 100, .780 OPS, .318 OBP and .339 BABIP.

    Those numbers are fine but .339 BABIP seems suspect. his career BABIP is .278 against LH pitching. It seems like that year was the outlier and perhaps based entirely on some BABIP randomness.

    When a guy like EE costs 3M$ and can give you a .360 wOBA against lefites why wouldn’t you platoon lind?

  • jerkstore

    Rajai davis has been a reasonably good hitter against LH pitching the last 3 years. He would be a fine platoon mate for LF.

    wOBAs the past 3 years against LH pitching .346 (149 PAs) .344 (149 PAs) .362 (90 PAs).

  • talesen

    I like flexibility as a concept, but I’m skeptical here. EE showed problems when he was forced to make adjustments this past year. We saw how he turned around his season once he did not have to worry about fielding.

    You touched on the trouble that EE can’t spell everyone vs. lefties. I think EE has potential to be an average-to-above-average everyday DH who can play a little 1B if needed to let Lind sit vs. lefties. But then we’re exposed by batting Snider and Thames (LF and DH) or else play Rajai. Perhaps AA shuffles the team a little to balance things out yet.

  • jerkstore

    “After 659 career plate appearances against southpaws, I think the jury is out…”

    I would say we have seen plenty of Lind against lefties. Between his wearing down last season and his poor career performance against lefties i see no reason to not have him be the dominant side of a platoon at 1B.

    2009 was his best year against lefties. .335 wOBA, wRC+ 100, .780 OPS, .318 OBP and .339 BABIP.

    Those numbers are fine but .339 BABIP seems suspect. his career BABIP is .278 against LH pitching. It seems like that year was the outlier and perhaps based entirely on some BABIP randomness.

    When a guy like EE costs 3M$ and can give you a .360 wOBA against lefites why wouldn’t you platoon lind?

  • jerkstore

    Rajai davis has been a reasonably good hitter against LH pitching the last 3 years. He would be a fine platoon mate for LF.

    wOBAs the past 3 years against LH pitching .346 (149 PAs) .344 (149 PAs) .362 (90 PAs).

  • scottbarber

    Agreed, a healthy Davis should should be in the mix to get time in left, particularly against LHP.

  • scottbarber

    @jerkstore As long as the Jays have a decent bat to DH when EE is playing first. Possibly Rajai Davis or an off season signing/trade..

  • scottbarber

    Agreed, a healthy Davis should should be in the mix to get time in left, particularly against LHP.

  • scottbarber

    @jerkstore As long as the Jays have a decent bat to DH when EE is playing first. Possibly Rajai Davis or an off season signing/trade..

  • Jared_Macdonald

    Agreed talesen, AA is just getting started this offseason. With EE, though, I’d want the priority on him contributing every day at DH, with LF and occasional 1B as extras, unlike last season where it took almost half the season before he finally settled in as an everyday DH.

  • Jared_Macdonald

    @jerkstore I think it will really depend on who is the Jays’ Opening Day left fielder. If it’s Thames, then, barring any other additions, Davis could see ABs vs. LHP in left field given his numbers like you mentioned. If Snider manages to win the everyday LF role out of ST, though, then the regular platoon idea in LF could go right out the window, assuming Snider gets regular ABs.

  • Jared_Macdonald

    Agreed talesen, AA is just getting started this offseason. With EE, though, I’d want the priority on him contributing every day at DH, with LF and occasional 1B as extras, unlike last season where it took almost half the season before he finally settled in as an everyday DH.

  • Jared_Macdonald

    @jerkstore I think it will really depend on who is the Jays’ Opening Day left fielder. If it’s Thames, then, barring any other additions, Davis could see ABs vs. LHP in left field given his numbers like you mentioned. If Snider manages to win the everyday LF role out of ST, though, then the regular platoon idea in LF could go right out the window, assuming Snider gets regular ABs.