Blue Jays: Edwin Encarnacion shut down with oblique issue


Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion has been shut down with a “minor oblique issue” that he suffered during batting practice

Edwin Encarnacion is being shut down for at least one week by the Blue Jays while dealing with an oblique issue.

Toronto manager John Gibbons revealed Encarnacion’s injury to the media prior to Tuesday’s spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles.

“He won’t do anything that involves twisting or turning, that kind of stuff,” said Gibbons. “It’s minor, but those things (obliques) can turn into bad things if you don’t watch it, so (his playing this week) is on hold.”

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Those twisting movements around the core of the body are what the organization will look to limit in any oblique injury, as these have a history of stretching from one week to one month. Just ask Aaron Sanchez, whose own oblique issue took him from the rotation for over a month last season and eventually landed him in a bullpen role.

“You’re always worried about that,” Gibbons continued, “especially the oblique because those can turn into long-term deals. It’s not at that point, but if we don’t protect it now, it could turn into (a problem). And that’s why we’ll back him off. Get rid of the thing now and you don’t have to worry about it. But he’s not going to get his normal at-bats and you always worry about that. But what are you going to do about it?”

Even assuming that all goes as planned here and Encarnacion returns in the neighbourhood of March 22nd-25th, those will represent his first spring training games. For a designated hitter with a power bat, being weeks behind on his timing won’t help.

This is not unfamiliar territory for Encarnacion, though, who has battled a variety of nagging injuries throughout his career without his performance being too greatly impacted.

Encarnacion has been out of action after having an abscessed tooth pulled earlier in the spring.