Thursday, July 21, 2011

Baseball Bizarro World Starring Edwin Encarnacion

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Image courtesy of Daylife via Getty Images
3 hits (1 of them being a home run) 4 runs scored, 2 stolen bases .... by Edwin Encarnacion? What kind of Baseball Bizarro World are we living in?

One might have to do a double take after looking over the boxscore from last night, but it's true; Edwin Encarnacion has come to life. Look up and down the lineup and you won't find a hotter hitter right now than EE.

His resurgence can be traced back to about mid-June, but Encarnacion has really turned things around within the last nine games in which he's batted .472 with 17 hits. EE is performing at Bautistian levels, and yet this is the Blue Jays estranged former third baseman turned DH.

Back at the end of May, it seemed like things were at their absolute low point for Edwin Encarnacion; it took him 145 at bats to collect his first home run, and he was making costly throwing errors on the field at both sides of the diamond.

At that point, it seemed like the only viable option was to DFA Encarnacion and let Brett Lawrie claim his rightful place as the everyday third baseman. But then the Baseball Gods decided they had different plans for EE and gave him a second shot.

Had things panned out for the Blue Jays as they should have, Edwin Encarnacion might not even be on the roster right now. At a meager salary of $2 million with a $500K buyout, $2.5 million seemed like a small price to pay to cut ties with Encarnacion.

Heck, the Blue Jays might not have even had to eat that money if they could find a suitor for him. I mean, if the Dodgers were willing to deal for Juan Rivera, I'm sure Alex Anthopoulos could have found a suitor for Edwin Encarnacion. However, that was a scenario that never played out.

Maybe if Marty McFly went back to 1955 and didn't retrieve the Grays Sports Almanac from Biff, things would have skewed into a different timeline where Edwin Encarnacion didn't play for the Blue Jays.

Encarnacion has received a bad rap during his time in Toronto (and sometimes rightfully so), but for the most part he has shown to have some semblance of value to this team. It may not be with his arm or glove, however EE can still contribute with the bat.

The maddening thing about Edwin is his streaks are so few and far between that it's extremely difficult to gauge what we can expect from him over the course of 162 games. At the start of the season, I didn't think it was unreasonable to see him hit 30 home runs, but now he'll be lucky to clear 20.

That's what I've found with Edwin Encarnacion these past few years; just when you're about ready to give up on him, that's when he turns on the afterburners.

I think we can all agree that EE certainly has the tools to be a great player, he just needs to harness those skills on a consistent basis to show just how valuable he can be to the Blue Jays.

In the meantime, if Gregg Zaun believes in Edwin Encarnacion, then so do I.

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