Much was said about the Blue Jays’ decision to part with long-time 1B/DH Edwin Encarnacion, who ended up signing with the Indians. Encarnacion averaged nearly 40 home runs per season from 2012-16 with the Jays, so how would they replace that power?
The Jays rather quickly signed Kendrys Morales to a three-year, $33 million contract in mid-November, before the free agent market had really taken shape. Morales isn’t exactly Encarnacion’s peer at the plate, as he hit a relatively pedestrian .263/.327/.468 with 30 home runs and 93 RBI last year. Comparatively, Encarnacion hit .263/.357/.529 with 42 homers and 127 RBI.
Morales made his presence felt in a big way on Thursday evening against the Rays, homering for the first time as a Blue Jay. It came with the bases loaded in a scoreless game in the third inning, and it was a no-doubter off of Blake Snell.