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Edwin Encarnacion to try left field

Nov 1, 2011, 2:30 PM EDT

Edwin Encarnacion

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports that Edwin Encarnacion is playing left field in winter ball. What’s more, he’s expected to continue to play left when Blue Jays spring training gets underway.

Encarnacion has been an increasing adventure at his natural position, third base. As such, the Jays have used him as DH more often than not recently, with some starts at first base.  If he can handle a corner outfield slot he becomes a lot more useful to the team and a lot more likely to hold on to a job. Both now, when he can still expect to get a lot of plate appearances and later when he enters the Eric Hinske zone.

Here’s some video of Encarnacion trying a different position. It’s better than you’d think, but I don’t know if he can stick there.

  1. Brian Donohue - Nov 1, 2011 at 2:39 PM

    Of course, they’ve got that kid Lawrie who could become the next Freese, maybe better than Freese. He’s got to learn how to be un-Freese though (avoid injury, stay healthy). I wouldn’t expect anything less from a quality manager like Farrell, he’s just committing to his team’s future. I’m saying it now: they get some pitching problems solved, especially in the pen, they’re a contender in ’12, even in that division.

    • clydeserra - Nov 1, 2011 at 2:45 PM

      Lawrie is better than Freese now. And will be much better than freese going forward.

      • Ari Collins - Nov 1, 2011 at 2:59 PM

        Agreed. Poor comparison. Lawrie is more Braun than Freese.

      • Brian Donohue - Nov 1, 2011 at 3:23 PM

        Very amusing, but you have to show DF a little respect now. You know, MVP of the WS and all that…That said, based purely on skills and potential, I’d rather have Lawrie on my team at that position.

  2. explodet - Nov 1, 2011 at 2:53 PM

    “un-Freese (avoid injury, stay healthy)”

    You forgot “get a full season of plate appearances”.

  3. Ari Collins - Nov 1, 2011 at 3:01 PM

    They could change his nickname from E5 to E7 to reflect his new position. Good thing they’d skip E6, since a) he’d be laughable at shortstop and b) that’s my favorite band’s nickname.

  4. cur68 - Nov 1, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    I saw them working on this by the end of the season in pre-game warmups. Not a bad idea to get him an OF position & keep his bat in the line up for the rotating DH spot. This could be part of the Blue Jays master plan; an offensive beast team with competent if unspectacular pitching. News about the Beaver Wranglers shoring up that pen would pretty welcome, though.

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 1, 2011 at 4:13 PM

      Do not be surprised if the Jays trade an outfielder or 2 to Oakland for Gio Gonzalez. That would create an opening in Left Field.

      • cur68 - Nov 1, 2011 at 4:58 PM

        Gio Gonzalez? Now that would be sweeeeet…Farrell could sub as a pitcher-whisper easily as Braden did the job for Gio in Oakland, I bet. Gio’s pretty good…

      • Ari Collins - Nov 1, 2011 at 5:08 PM

        Gio is a very good pitcher under club control for 4 more cheap years. The Jays would have to give up an awful lot to get him.

      • Mark - Nov 1, 2011 at 5:42 PM

        I would actually be very surprised because Billy Beane can’t be that interested in the walk-phobic Jays outfielders.

      • cur68 - Nov 1, 2011 at 6:45 PM

        Careful there Mark. One of those outfielders does sort of lead the league in walks. I think you mean “Billy Beane can’t be that interested in the walk-phobic Jays outfielders not named ‘Jose Bautista’ “. . . no one said there had to be only one Captain Obvious around here did they?

  5. APBA Guy - Nov 1, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Do you know something we don’t know?

  6. dirtyharry1971 - Nov 1, 2011 at 11:07 PM

    Wow lots of pipe dreaming on this board, Jays will not be a contender next year, 2012, or any year after that because they wont spend a dime to upgrade this team and its because they cant!! Nobody goes to see their games, nobody cares except for the 23 bluegay fans in the world and it won’t be long until they join the Expos and finally baseball will be out of canada and people realize it was a bad idea from the get go. Also the jays have no outfielders that anyone is going to send good pitchers back in a trade, this team is loaded with overrated prospects as usual, see Snyder, Draback for examples. And sorry proudly all the sandwich picks in the world isnt going to help, case closed

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