Yankees: Edwin Encarnacion still not 100% but expects to be ready for ALDS


Edwin Encarnacion was unable to return for the Yankees final series of the season from an oblique strain but the expectation is still that he’ll be ready to go for the start of the ALDS next Friday.

The Yankees were hopeful the veteran slugger would get some at-bats in Texas this weekend, but the team held him out of the lineup because he’s still not feeling 100%. It would’ve been good for Encarnacion to get some swings in but he still has another five days to get himself ready for the Twins.

At this point, that’s all that matters and throughout the week he’ll likely participate in some sim games and see some live pitching. That’s a lot different than facing major league pitching in an actual game but Encarnacion knows his swing better than anyone so you don’t really worry about rust with a veteran like him.

According to George King of the New York Post Encarnacion says he’s feeling around 80 to 85% but he’s still hesitant to let it eat at the plate with his best swing.

"“I don’t feel it, but the confidence is not quite there to get into a game,’’ Encarnacion said before the Yankees’ 9-4 loss to the Rangers on Saturday night."

Based on these comments the Yankees were smart to be extra cautious and keep him on the bench especially since the games this weekend were basically meaningless. You have to be very careful with obliques because if he reaggravated the injury with one little tweak it likely would’ve ended his season.

It goes without saying but Encarnacion is so important to the Yankees postseason lineup. He’s got as much postseason experience as anyone on the roster and he delivers a quality at-bat almost every time he steps up to the plate.

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If Edwin isn’t ready for the ALDS the Yankees would face a tough decision of choosing between the rookie Mike Ford or Luke Voit to be their DH. Voit has finished off the season in a terrible slump going 1 for his last 33 and his hitting .194 this month.

Ford, on the other hand, has continued his hot hitting with 3 HR, 10 RBI, and a .364 BA in September. On Saturday Aaron Boone said that Ford was in the mix for a postseason roster spot and right now he probably has the edge over Voit if the Yankees choose to carry 13 position players and only 12 pitchers.

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The Yankees lineup is very right-handed heavy which is another reason why they might opt to go with the power-hitting Ford instead. Whoever they chose probably won’t start during the postseason with Encarnacion at DH and DJ LeMahieu at first but Ford has earned the opportunity to be on the roster with his performance over the past couple of months.