Encarnacion moved to cleanup full-time

Encarnacion moved to cleanup full-time

Encarnacion moved to cleanup full-time
BALTIMORE -- Blue Jays manager John Farrell officially named Edwin Encarnacion the club's new cleanup hitter on Tuesday afternoon in Baltimore.

Encarnacion had started out of the No. 4 spot in the lineup six times this season, but all of those games came against left-handed pitchers. Those starts are now expected to expand to pitchers from both sides of the mound.

Toronto's designated hitter has been one of the most consistent hitters on the team during the first three weeks of the season, which prompted the move to push Adam Lind down to No. 5.

"He has emerged as our four-hole hitter for right now," Farrell said of Encarnacion. "The fact that he and Adam are one slot apart in the lineup, it's not that big of a deal, but whether it has been against right-handers or left-handers, Eddie has swung the bat very well and has provided more consistent protection behind Jose [Bautista] ... That's the way we're going to go right now."

Encarnacion entered Tuesday's game in Baltimore tied for the team lead with four home runs, while also posting a .303 average and 13 RBIs. He has gone 6-for-15 with runners in scoring position and 20 of his hits this year have resulted in extra bases.

Encarnacion went 0-for-4 against the Orioles on Tuesday.

Lind, who opened the year as the Blue Jays' No. 4 hitter, has gotten off to somewhat of a slow start. He is batting just .222 with one homer and six RBIs in 14 games this season.