Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion, who’s yet to play in a game this spring due to a dental issue, has now been shut down for at least a week with a strained oblique muscle.
Toronto manager John Gibbons told Greg Zeck of MLB.com that “it’s minor, but those things can turn into bad things if you don’t watch it.” There’s now some doubt about Encarnacion being healthy for Opening Day, although Gibbons insists “he’s one guy that probably doesn’t need as many at-bats” to be ready.
Encarnacion is a huge and perhaps somewhat underrated part of the Blue Jays’ scary lineup, hitting .277 with 39 homers and a .929 OPS in 146 games last season and averaging 38 homers with a .919 OPS from 2012-2015.
First baseman Mitch Moreland is back with the Red Sox. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the veteran has inked a one-year, $3 million to remain in Boston. The contract calls for a $2.5 million salary for 2020 and includes a 2021 club option worth $3 million with a $500,000 buyout.
Moreland has spent the past three seasons with the Red Sox. Last year, he hit .252/.328/.507 with 19 home runs and 58 RBI over 335 plate appearances. He mostly faced right-handed pitching, platooning at first base with Michael Chavis, Sam Travis, and Steve Pearce.
Moreland will once again platoon at first base with Chavis. Chavis also played second and third base last year, so he could find time at those positions when Moreland is in the starting lineup.