Or­tiz picks En­car­na­cion as suc­ces­sor

Red Sox slug­ger says Blue Jays DH is a good fit for Bos­ton

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - JORGE L. OR­TIZ

SAN DIEGO — While hold­ing court with news re­porters af­ter de­part­ing from his fi­nal Ma­jor League Base­ball all-star game Tues­day, David Or­tiz ex­plained why he’s re­tir­ing, then briefly turned his at­ten­tion to the player he sees as his ideal suc­ces­sor as the Bos­ton Red Sox des­ig­nated hit­ter.

“The Red Sox know they need to bring (power) to the mid­dle of the lineup,” Or­tiz said. “And, sorry Blue Jays, but who bet­ter than En­car­na­cion to do that?”

Less than four months from now, the Bos­ton brass will get a chance to an­swer that ques­tion.

Toronto DH Ed­win En­car­na­cion will be­come a free agent af­ter the sea­son, and the line of suit­ors fig­ures to start but cer­tainly not end with the Red Sox. While full-time des­ig­nated hit­ters have be­come less com­mon as teams seek to in­crease flex­i­bil­ity by ro­tat­ing play­ers through that spot, En­car­na­cion’s of­fen­sive ex­ploits make him a valu­able com­mod­ity even when he plays first base only 32 per cent of the time, as he has this sea­son. En­car­na­cion, 33, leads the ma­jors with 80 RBIs at the half­way point, the high­est such fig­ure in the game in three years. He’s also tied for third in the Amer­i­can League with 23 homers while sport­ing an .898 on-base plus slug­ging per­cent­age.

With a short, com­pact swing that gen­er­ates huge power, the low-key En­car­na­cion an­chors a Blue Jays lineup that has pro­duced the third­most homers in the league, yet is bet­ter known for more cel­e­brated hit­ters such as reign­ing Most Valu­able Player Josh Donaldson and slug­ger Jose Bautista.

“I’ve been in Toronto for eight years and I feel very com­fort­able there,” En­car­na­cion said when asked about his fu­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.