3 Up 3 Down: Encarnacion, First Place and Esmil

Baseball sure is fun, isn’t it?

It’s fun when you don’t really have to be worried about a starter making it through five innings, the defense botching a routine play, or the bullpen coughing up a lead. It’s also helps when you have one of the hottest hitters in baseball on your team.

Things are certainly fun right now for the Toronto Blue Jays; who are 7-3 in their last 10 games and 13-7 in their last 20. The starting pitching has been adequate, the bullpen has stabilized and the starting lineup has been punishing opposing pitchers.


It’s a good time to be a Blue Jays fan.

Encarnacion is on Fire

What can you say about Edwin Encarnacion? He’s been playing otherworldly in the month of May and has already set a myriad of club records.

With his pair of home runs last night, Encarnacion now has four multi home run games in the month of May, which set a new club record for multiple home run games in a single month. 11 of his 20 hits this month have cleared the fence.

Edwin Encarnacion also became just the second Blue Jay in franchise history to have consecutive games with more than one home run. Jesse Barfield was the only other Blue Jay to do it, and that was in in late August of 1983.

After hitting just two home runs in the month of April, Edwin Encarnacion has kicked it into high gear and slugged a total of 11 in the month of May. Edwin is a bit of a notorious slow starter, but the comparison of the past two months has been like night and day.

Not to mention, EE still has over a week left in the month to put up even more numbers. With Edwin Encarnacion’s recent hot streak, the top half of the Blue Jays lineup suddenly looks deadlier than ever.

Tied for First Place


Many were likely very little surprised to check the standings in the AL East this morning and see that your Toronto Blue Jays are indeed tied for first place with the New York Yankees. Yes … tied for first place.

Admittedly, I try not to pay too much attention to the standings the first three months of the season, but having the Blue Jays at the top of the division in late May is far more advantageous than being forced to climb over teams later in the season.

In fact, the Blue Jays haven’t been in first place or tied for first in the month of May since 2009. Of course, that was the magical 27-14 start to the season which eventually saw the Blue Jays finish in fourth place with a 75-87 record.

After vaulting themselves 13 games above .500, the 2009 Blue Jays then went on to lose 10 straight and it was all downhill from there. Let’s hope the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays won’t repeat the same fate.

The Bell Tolls for Esmil Rogers

More now than ever, seems like the writing is on the wall for one Esmil Rogers. Although the bullpen has stabilized in recent weeks, Rogers has been one of the sole few relievers who has been in flux since the start of the season.


Subsequently, Esmil has been relegated to the mop-up role. And yet even with a substantial lead or the game well out of reach, Rogers has managed to struggle. He has given up three or more runs in 4 of his 16 appearances and his ERA is a shade under 7.00.

I suppose the reason why Esmil Rogers has garnered the nickname “Uncle Esmil” is because he makes fans cry out for mercy whenever he comes in to pitch.

If that’s how Esmil Rogers is going to perform in low leverage situations, then what makes them think he’ll do any better when the game is actually on the line? Hopefully, Alex Anthopoulos will do the right thing this week and DFA Esmil Rogers.

In retrospect, the entire John Farrell/Mike Aviles/Yan Gomes/Esmil Rogers trade was a complete disaster, but that doesn’t mean Rogers should continue to occupy a spot on the roster.

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.