FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It didn't take long for Edwin Encarnacion to get back in the groove. Encarnacion, one of the Blue Jays' principal power threats, went deep for the first time this spring Monday. The slugger drilled a shot to left field that accounted for Toronto's only offense in a 12-2 loss to Minnesota.
Encarnacion has hit 78 home runs over the past two seasons, and he was rewarded with his first trip to the All-Star Game last season. The 31-year-old said he's just trying to get his timing down at this point of the spring, and he said that he doesn't feel pressure to repeat his All-Star season.
"There's nothing easy in this game. This game is crazy," said Encarnacion, "but I don't feel pressure to put up the same numbers I've put up the last two years. I know what I've got. I know what I can do. I just need to be healthy and to play the game hard on the field. I know I'll be successful."
That confidence, born from results, is contagious. Encarnacion got all of his at-bats as the No. 3 or cleanup hitter last season, and manager John Gibbons loves the security of having him in the middle of the lineup so much that he slotted him in for a long spring road trip on Monday.
"Eddie is one of the least of our worries," said Gibbons. "I'm sure he wasn't really excited to hop on the bus and come all the way to Fort Myers, but at least he had something to show for it."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.