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.
Giants’ right-hander Mark Melancon is considering surgery for an undisclosed injury, the pitcher told reporters prior to Friday’s game against the Phillies. Melancon did not divulge the exact location of the injury, but revealed that it had been plaguing him off and on since the 2012 season and was a separate issue from the right pronator strain that kept him sidelined through much of July and August. Giants’ head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner called the injury day-to-day and has not revealed a timetable for the right-hander’s return, should surgery become necessary.
Melancon, 32, has struggled to replicate the sparkling pitching line he produced with the Pirates and Nationals in 2016. He’s toting a 3.80 ERA through 25 appearances with San Francisco, flanked by a 1.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 23 2/3 innings. His season has been significantly shortened after multiple trips to the disabled list for a right forearm strain, and while he looked to be in line to resume his closing duties this week, the Giants will likely play it safe with the veteran righty to keep him from compromising his health in 2018.
Although the injury doesn’t appear to be severe in nature, it’s clearly intensified over the last few months. Per MLB.com’s Chris Haft, Melancon said he’s “had discomfort every day this season,” though he hopes to continue pitching through the remainder of 2017. The Giants aren’t on the verge of contending by any stretch of the imagination, but a solid end to the 2017 season could help Melancon make some headway as he looks to reclaim his status as the team’s closer next spring.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.