TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion worked hard this offseason to shorten his swing and, ultimately, overhaul his mechanics entirely at the plate.
So far it has led to positive results, as the designated hitter entered Sunday's series finale against the Mariners leading the Blue Jays in homers (6), RBIs (19), extra-base hits (14), while hitting above .300 and added another solo home run against the Mariners on Sunday.
"The guy I worked with in the offseason told me that my swing was too long," Encarnacion said. "The ball on the outside corner, I'd been pulling a lot. Now I try to stay more to the middle and get my swing shorter with my two hands."
The guy Encarnacion is referring to is someone he worked with in the Dominican Republic and it was both of them who were the ones who sought to to correct the hitch in Encarnacion's swing and approach -- not the Blue Jays' coaching staff, although they noticed the same issues that plagued him last season.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell is pleased not only with the strong early-season results, but the adjustments on a whole, regardless of whether Encarnacion was the most consistent offensive producer over the first month of the season.
"It goes right to a two-handed swing," Farrell said of his swing. "Last year, we saw a sign that once contact was made, there was a release with the top hand and I think that can cause a hitter for his hands to get farther away from his body. This is a much more compact and repeatable swing.
"He's used this from Day 1 of Spring Training. It was noticeable from the start of the season. He's obviously repeating it. Some might think a two-handed swing might cause a reduction in power -- that's not the case with Edwin by any means. He's repeating a powerful swing consistently."
Farrell says that most players in the league don't have a two-handed swing, noting that the majority of them release their top hand at some point during their cut. Not Encarnacion, however, and it has allowed him to keep his front side closed as he gets ready to drive the ball -- something that wasn't the case for much of last season.
"The path of the bat through the point of contact is what has been more consistent and compact for Edwin," Farrell said.