Blue Jays lose All-Star slugger Edwin Encarnacion to quadriceps injury

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Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion is headed to the disabled list with a strained quadriceps muscle, which actually qualifies as relatively good news considering how bad his injury appeared to be when he was helped off the field Saturday.

Unfortunately it still means Encarnacion will miss the All-Star game after being an easy choice for a reserve spot by manager John Farrell. No word yet on who’ll replace him on the American League roster, but to replace Encarnacion on their roster the Blue Jays have called up Nolan Reimold, whom they claimed off waivers from the Orioles yesterday.

It’ll be impossible to replace Encarnacion’s bat. Not only has he hit .277 with 26 homers and a .959 OPS in 88 games this season to rank among the league’s top five in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, total bases, homers, and RBIs, he’s been one of the best power hitters in baseball dating back to 2012.

Reimold was once a top prospect, but injuries have derailed his career and the Orioles let the 30-year-old go for nothing rather than using him as a part-time bench player.

Matt Shepard to be the Tigers new full-time play-by-play guy

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Fox Sports Detroit has named Matt Shepard their new full-time play-by-play guy for Tigers games. Shepard will work with analysts Jack Morris and Kirk Gibson, who will split time.

This is the move in response to former longtime announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen getting suspended and later fired following an in-booth altercation in Chicago last September. The two of them, who weren’t exactly friends, reportedly fought over a chair, with conflicting reports of how serious the fight was. An anonymous witness said Allen put Impemba in a choke hold. Allen recently gave an interview in which he denied that and said it was only some pushing and shoving. Either way, it ended their 16-year team-up for Tigers games.

Shepard has worked for Fox Sports Detroit for nearly 20 years, doing fill-in play-by-play for the Tigers — he replaced Impemba for the last few weeks of last season — and for Detroit Pistons games. Gibson has been a part time analyst for the network for the past couple of seasons, splitting time with Allen. Morris has done Tigers, Blue Jays and Twins games over the years, sometimes even splitting time between the Twins and Tigers, which is rather unusual.

Shepard is pretty good at his job. While Tigers fans liked and were familiar with Impemba, there won’t be a falloff in quality. Gibson makes some good analytical points and has a surprisingly sharp and biting sense of humor about him, but his gruff and monotone delivery is not everyone’s cup of tea. You get used to it. Morris is not my cup of tea — he tends to do a lot of the “back in my day” stuff former players often do — but I’m pretty sure he could recite the dictionary on TV in Detroit and a lot of Tigers fans would tune in. Such is life.