Edwin Encarnacion made a brief comeback from his wrist injury, playing in three games over the weekend, but the Blue Jays have decided to shut him down for the season with two weeks to go and the slugger will undergo surgery later this week.
Encarnacion finishes the season hitting .272 with 36 homers and a .904 OPS in 142 games, drawing more walks (82) than strikeouts (62) to continue his transformation into one of the league’s most dangerous hitters.
Toronto also announced that All-Star reliever Brett Cecil won’t pitch again this year because of elbow problems, with Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reporting that he’s been bothered by the injury for the past month. Cecil posted a 2.82 ERA in 61 innings overall, but pitched just three times in September and logged a total of just 9.1 innings since August 1 as the Blue Jays limited his workload due to the injury.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.