Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion is out of the lineup Wednesday for the third game in a row with a left middle finger injury that he suffered in late July.
The issue flared up over the weekend in New York and he hasn’t appeared in a game since Saturday. But it’s looking like EE will avoid the disabled list.
MLB.com’s Jamie Ross says that Encarnacion is scheduled to take batting practice prior to Thursday afternoon’s series finale against the A’s and could be inserted into the lineup if the workout goes well.
“It’s a little frustrating,” Encarnacion told reporters on Wednesday evening in Toronto. “The way I’ve been swinging the last couple of weeks, been swinging good, my timing is getting better, and now I’ve gotta deal with my finger. It’s tough.”
The 32-year-old is batting .251/.349/.476 with 21 home runs and 64 RBI this season for the Blue Jays, who are just a half-game back of the Yankees for first place in the American League East standings.
The Tigers are trying to keep as much of the front office as it was under Dave Dombrowski, but there are some minor changes afoot. Here’s one: former Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield has been promoted to vice president of player development.
Littlefield has been scouting for the past five years, this one for Detroit, the previous four for the Chicago Cubs. Earlier in his career he worked for the Tigers for a spell and was a Dombrowski protege, working in Montreal and Miami. He was, of course, more famously the GM of the Pirates for six seasons during which the club went a combined 421-549 (.434).
His time in Pittsburgh can be somewhat hard to assess in that a lot of the moves he was infamous for making likely were directed by an ownership who routinely looked to cut costs, but a lot of GMs have done just fine under such constraints. Littlefield? Eh, not so much. As a review of his tenure reminds us, he traded away Aramis Ramirez in a bad deal. He once was offered a young Ryan Howard in exchange for Kris Benson and nixed the idea. He did end up getting Jose Bautista for Benson, but that was before he was JOSE BAUTISTA. He signed a lot of guys like Jeromy Burnitz, Joe Randa, Raul Mondesi and Benito Santiago, Actually, it was worse: he didn’t sign guys like them, he signed those actual guys.
Which, no probably isn’t that important to his job in Detroit as he’s likely going to just have an enhanced role in scouting while Al Avila calls the shots. But it’s always fun to take a walk down memory lane when an old friend resurfaces, as many past GMs have lately. I mean, in a world where John Hart goes from unemployed ex-GM to part time TV analyst to the architect of a rebuild in the space of a couple of years, anything can happen.
From Ben Nicholson-Smith of Toronto’s Sportsnet comes word that Edwin Encarnacion is out of the Blue Jays’ starting lineup Tuesday night against the Athletics because of lingering discomfort in his left middle finger. EE jammed the finger in late July and hasn’t really had time to fully recover.
He also sat out of Sunday afternoon’s series finale at Yankee Stadium, a big 2-0 victory for Toronto.
Justin Smoak is starting at first base and Chris Colabello is at DH as the Blue Jays open a three-game set at home versus the visiting Athletics.
Encarnacion is considered day-to-day for now. The 32-year-old slugger has 21 home runs and 64 RBI in 104 games this season for the Jays, who are just 1 1/2 games back of the Yankees in the American League East standings.