According to two tweets (separate links) from beat reporter Jason Beck of MLB.com, Cleveland Indians designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion’s MRI revealed no structural damage. He’s considered day-to-day with a sprained ankle. Encarnacion said he was relieved at the results, having initially feared something much worse. His goal is to get the swelling down with an expectation that he’ll play again this postseason.
Terry Francona had this to say on Encarnacion’s status when he met with reporters today (credit to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, who tweeted an image with the full quote).
“He is, I would say, I don’t know if ’remarkably’ better is a good word, but pretty close. He’s doing much better today. I don’t think he’s going to start tomorrow, but he’s not been ruled out, either. So, we’ll take our time and allow him to continue to get treatment. But if he’s that close to being available, that’s a really good sign. So, we’re obviously not going to do anything roster-wise.”
This is certainly the best scenario the Indians could have hoped for after seeing Encarnacion leave last night’s game with a scary-looking ankle injury. That the Indians don’t plan on making a roster move to replace Encarnacion for the remainer of the series is an encouraging sign that the team truly believes he can get back on the field. The 34-year old veteran led the team with 38 home runs during the regular season and finished second only to All-Star Jose Ramirez in wOBA (.378) and wRC+ (132). His 15.5% walk rate ranked 8th in all of baseball. Any extended absence for him certainly would have been devastating to an Indians team with hopes of a second consecutive trip to the World Series.
It’s expected that All-Star Michael Brantley will take over DH duties if Encarnacion is unable to play in Game 3 against the Yankees on Sunday. Brantley went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts after replacing Encarnacion in Friday’s game.
Encarnacion came to the Indians just last offseason on a three-year, $60MM deal that includes a $5MM buyout on a $25MM team option for 2020. Full details on Encarnacion’s contract can be found here.