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.

Adam Eaton sustains leg injury after tripping over first base

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Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton was carried off the field after stumbling over first base on Friday night. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton appeared to catch his ankle on the bag as he ran out an infield single, suffering a leg injury on the fall. He was unable to put pressure on his left leg after the play and required assistance by two of the Nationals’ athletic trainers as he exited the field.

Eaton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday, but Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker told reporters that it “doesn’t look too good.” It’s the first significant leg injury the outfielder has sustained since 2014, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. He’ll likely be replaced by Michael Taylor in center field for the next couple of games, though that could be a temporary fix as the Nationals seek a better solution during Eaton’s recovery process.

Madison Bumgarner likely sidelined through the All-Star break

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It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.

Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.

Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.