I’m sure the Buffalo Bisons will try to milk every minute out of Edwin Encarnacion‘s rehab stint with them.
The Tripe A affiliate team of the Toronto Blue Jays relied on the 31-year-old first baseman’s bat in a big way last night to beat the Norfolk Tides 7-5. It’ll be hard for them to replace his type of offence.
Encarnacion cranked a grand slam in the bottom of the second inning, which quickly put the Bisons ahead of the Tides and on pace for the win. The Tides would score four runs in the top of the final frame before the Bisons finally shut things down.
Making his Triple A rehab debut as the Bisons’ designated hitter, Encarnacion went 1-4 at the plate. Fortunately, that one hit was enough to show he’s making steady progress in his return from injury. It’s not clear how long Encarnacion will remain with the Bisons, but I wouldn’t expect him to stay at the Tripe A level for longer than a week.
The Jays desperately need his bat back in the lineup if they hope to make a late push for the playoffs. They currently sit two games out of the final Wild Card spot in the American League and have an excellent opportunity to pick up ground in the American League East as they close out the month playing the Tampa Bay Rays, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees at the Rogers Centre.
Buffalo, however, could also use Encarnacion’s help as they push for a Wild Card spot of their own. The Bisons are currently 2.5 games back of the Wild Card-leading Pawtucket Red Sox in the International League. They host Pawtucket for four games later this month.
Sadly, the Bisons are unlikely to retain Encarnacion’s services for this long and the big club takes priority anyway.
That’s baseball life for you.