Saturday, June 15, 2019

Bronx Bombers Add Another Bat In Encarnacion

Edwin Encarnacion.

The Yankees have acquired 1B/DH Edwin Encarnación from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for RHP Juan Then and cash considerations.

Encarnación, 36, leads the American League in home runs with 21, which is also fourth in the Majors; 49 RBI, tied for third, and 48 runs scored (tied for fourth). He has a solid slash line of .241/.356/.531 (58-for-241) with 48 runs scored , 7 doubles, 21HR, 49RBI and 41BB in 65 games with Seattle this season. On June 9 vs.  the Los Angeles Angels, he became the 56th player in Major League history to reach the 400 home run plateau.

Encarnacion can now platoon at first base and designated hitter with Luke Voit, who has 17 home runs and 45 RBI this season.

Along with catcher Gary Sanchez, who has 20 home runs and 43 RBI, and with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge on the road back, the Yankees' lineup will now have five superb sluggers.

The addition of Encarnacion might spell the end for veteran first baseman/DH Kendrys Morales, who was placed on the injured list on Thursday (retroactive to June 12) with a left calf strain.

The Yankees acquired Morales on May 14 from Oakland with the hope that he could be the veteran presence they needed, especially at a time when the lineup was depleted with injuries. 

In 19 games with the Yankees, Morales was hitting .177 (11-62) with 1 home run and 5 RBI. His on-base percentage was .320, as he did draw 12 walks, and struck out 6 times.

Since 2012, Encarnacion leads the Majors in home runs (284) and RBI (813). He is the only Major League player in that span to record seven seasons with at least 30 homers, followed by Nelson Cruz (five) and Mike Trout (five). His six seasons with at least 100 RBI since 2012 are also the most in the Majors (next: six players with four seasons).

The La Romana, D.R., native was acquired by Seattle along with a Competitive Balance Round B draft pick from the Cleveland Indians in a three-team trade on December 13, 2018 in exchange for 1B Carlos Santana and cash considerations.

Encarnacion has had a  15-year career that began with with the Cincinnati Reds (2005-09) followed by a long stint with the Toronto Blue Jays (2009-16), in which they reached the ALCS in 2015 and 2016; the Cleveland Indians (2017-18), and Seattle this season. 

The three-time All-Star (2013-14, ’16) is batting .263 (1,763-for-6,704) with 1,047 runs , 354 doubles, 10 triples, 401 homers, 1,205 RBI and 870 walks in 1,872 games. He was originally selected by the Texas Rangers in the ninth round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft.

Encarnación has hit 18 home runs in 69 career games at Yankee Stadium, the second-most by a visiting player at the venue.

To make room for Encarnación on the 40-man roster, the Yankees transferred RHP Jake Barrett to the 60-day injured list.

Back To Seattle: Juan Then, 19, owns a 2-5 record with a 2.67 ERA (111.1IP, 88H, 44R/33ER, 26BB, 98K, 5HR) in 24 starts over two minor league seasons (2017-18). He was acquired by the Yankees along with LHP JP Sears from the Seattle Mariners on November 18, 2017 in exchange for RHP Nick Rumbelow. The right-handed pitcher was originally signed by Seattle as a non-drafted free agent on 7/2/16.

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