Edwin Encarnacion could help a contender

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He’s more expendable than ever in Toronto following Brett Lawrie’s arrival, but Edwin Encarnacion, who has been tearing it up for the Jays for more than two months, could be a nice piece for a contender this month.

Encarnacion was the Toronto offense last night, going 2-for-2 with a homer and two walks in a 4-1 loss to the A’s.  He’s hitting .435 in August and .336 since the beginning of July.  In fact, he’s been pretty hot for about 10 weeks now, with a .310 average, nine homers and a 30/20 K/BB ratio in 181 at-bats since June 1.  He’s slugging .541 over that timeframe.

With Jose Bautista back in the outfield, the Jays can have Travis Snider and Eric Thames split time between left field and DH in Encarnacion’s place.  Snider was sent back to the minors last week to make room for Lawrie on the roster.

Encarnacion probably wouldn’t clear waivers because of the streak he’s on, but he could be traded to the first team that claims him.  That might be Cleveland, who would have room for him as a part-time first baseman and DH.  The Angels and Yankees are others that could use his right-handed bat.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.