Tag Archives: Edwin Encarnacion

E5

When Jerry Howarth and Alan Ashby make a point about the Blue Jays, it almost always makes sense. Last night though, sometime after Edwin (E5) Encarnacion threw the game away, the pair had a discussion about E5 and his bat that left me scratching my head.

I’m not going to go back and transcribe the conversation, but they basically said E5 should be considered for Toronto’s DH role next year.

I guess from a certain standpoint, I can understand it. E5’s defence is horrid, so you don’t want him in the field every day (unless your name is Cito) and his bat definitely has some potential, so why not give him a shot at letting the bat develop?

To me, the answer is simple: Money.

Encarnacion is arbitration-eligible this year. He’s taking home $4.75 million in 2010. The absolute minimum that a player can get out of arbitration is 80% of their current salary, so the best case scenario for the Jays in an arbitration hearing would see them pay $3.8 million to take a chance on E5’s bat in 2011.

That’s a pretty expensive gamble, especially on a guy who’s currently rocking an OPS of .768.

I think E5 could be a valuable piece as a bench player. His defence wouldn’t hurt the team on a daily basis and his bat coming around wouldn’t be a daily gamble. But $3.8 million is awfully expensive for a bench player, and I can’t see E5’s agent allowing him to agree to a significant pay cut outside of arbitration.

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During which I put on my tinfoil hat

As I’m sure everybody and their dog already knows, Edwin Encarnacion has been designated for assignment and, assuming he clears waivers, will be the Las Vegas 51s third baseman for the foreseeable future. Coming up to Toronto is Jarrett Hoffpauir, a career minor leaguer who’s put up some ridiculous numbers in Sin City so far this year.

E5’s taken a lot of heat this year, and rightly so. His defence is only slightly north of atrocious and his effort appears to be so lacking that Jerry and Alan have taken to deriding him during the radio broadcasts. It only makes sense to send him down to make room for a guy (Hoffpauir) who’s having a great season in AAA.

BUT

E5 didn’t have to be sent down to open up a spot for Hoffpauir. Not if the Jays hadn’t brought in Nick Green, anyway.

Nick Green is a bad hitter and not much of a spectacular fielder either. He’s a utility guy who mainly plays 2B/SS/3B. Essentially he’s Johnny Mac, except that Johnny Mac is excellent in the field and is light years ahead of Green in terms of being a defensive replacement.

So if Green is worse defensively than the Prime Minister of Defence, why is he on the team?

Is it because Green is a better hitter off the bench than Encarnacion? Nope.

Cito says E5’s going to Vegas because he’s hurt. That could be, but isn’t that what the DL is for?

Anthopoulos may be screwing with Edwin so he can’t get a big arbitration deal, but that doesn’t seem like something a general manager who’s trying to create a good working atmosphere would do.

Here comes the tinfoil hat

This to me seems a move made by a general manager whose hands are tied by Cito. With The Manager’s insistence on only changing the lineup almost never, maybe AA felt that if Hoffpauir was simply called up (and Green never brought into the picture) that The Hoff would be nailed to the bench and not get a chance to show what he can do.

Cito is loyal to his guys after all. E5 is (was) in the lineup, so he must be one of Cito’s guys.

Remove Encarnacion from the picture and Cito’s forced to make a change at third.

It’s not the way a team should be run, but Cito shouldn’t be managing one to begin with.

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