NEW YORK -- Players can go one of two ways when learning that they have been demoted to the Minor Leagues. As far as Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston is concerned, third baseman Edwin Encarnacion is an example of someone who handled things the right way.
Since his June demotion to Triple-A Las Vegas, Encarnacion has shown tremendous progress both in the batter's box and in the field for the Blue Jays. Over the past 25 games, dating back to his return to Toronto on July 2, Encarnacion has hit .295 with two home runs, eight doubles and nine RBIs.
"I talk to guys when they go down," Gaston said, "about going down and burying your head in the sand or going down and getting yourself back up here. You don't know. Next week, you might be right back up here. If you go down and don't perform and feel sorry for yourself, you might not get back up here for a while.
"He went down and did what he was supposed to do, and he got himself back up here."
With his average stuck at .200 at the time, Encarnacion was sent to Triple-A on June 20. Gaston said Encarnacion took the news as well as he could have, even asking if he could report to Las Vegas earlier than required in order to get on the field as soon as possible.
"I appreciated him coming in and asking me that question," Gaston said. "He left in the right frame of mind."
In seven games with Las Vegas, the third baseman hit .438 with three home runs and 13 RBIs, and he has carried that success over to the big leagues since rejoining the Jays. Dating back to July 2, Encarnacion has raised his average to .242.
"He's done a lot of things good," Gaston said. "He's done well since hes been back. He's played really well."