Aug 18, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (10) hits a solo home run during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Last night, we discussed the possibility of Colby Rasmus returning to the Toronto Blue Jays for the weekend series with the Baltimore Orioles, and the impact of a returning Rasmus to a sputtering offense. Now comes the news that he may not be returning alone, courtesy of Gregor Chisholm at MLB.com.
That’s right, Toronto’s most consistent slugger over the last two years may be returning to the Blue Jays line-up at some point this weekend as well. That is a big departure for the news we heard on Encarnacion earlier this week, when manager John Gibbons indicated that the first baseman may be lost for the remainder of the season.
As our Michael Wray indicated in his Morning Brew earlier today, Encarnacion has an outside shot of reaching a rather distinctive plateau; slugging 40 home runs while striking out less than 70 times on the season. That is certainly a distinct possibility, as the slugger needs 4 home runs and needs to K less than 10 times in the last 16 games of the season. Encarnacion could also join Jose Bautista as the only other Blue Jays player with consecutive 40-home run seasons, and join Bautista (2) and Carlos Delgado (3) as Blue Jays players with multiple 40-home run seasons.
Of course, that all hinges on getting on the field, and that is dependent on batting practice today. Should he return, the 30-year-old Encarnacion will look to build upon a season where he is hitting .276 with 36 home runs, 104 RBI, and a .917 OPS.