Jays option Hoffpauir, call up Encarnacion
Reed refuses Triple-A assignment, becomes free agent
NEW YORK -- Jarrett Hoffpauir made things a little more difficult for Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston. After collecting two hits in Friday's 6-1 win over the Yankees, Hoffpauir learned that he was being sent back to Triple-A Las Vegas.
"That's what made it tougher to send him out," Gaston said. "Without him today, we certainly would not have won this game. He got down a good bunt and got a couple of base hits. He had a good ballgame. No matter what happens, I think he can go out on a positive note."
Hoffpauir's sacrifice bunt came in Toronto's five-run outburst in the 11th inning, helping the club end a five-game losing streak. In nine games as a regular third baseman for the Jays, though, Hoffpauir hit just .214 (6-for-28) with one extra-base hit and no RBIs.
The Blue Jays selected the contract of third baseman Edwin Encarnacion from Triple-A Vegas, and he is expected to be in the starting lineup for Toronto on Saturday in New York. In seven games since being outrighted to Triple-A, Encarnacion hit .438 with three home runs and 13 RBIs.
In order to clear room on the 40-man roster for Encarnacion, the Blue Jays outrighted outfielder Jeremy Reed to Triple-A. Reed refused the assignment and instead elected to become a free agent. Reed hit .271 in 41 games for Las Vegas, but he hit just .143 in 14 games for Toronto this season.
Hechavarria promotion fits Jays' plan
NEW YORK -- The promotion of Adeiny Hechavarria to Double-A New Hampshire earlier this week was not about numbers. It was a move based on development and comfort both for the organization and the young Cuban shortstop.
"We felt that was the best environment for his development," Blue Jays manager Alex Anthopoulos said on Friday at Yankee Stadium. "But we weren't going to do it right at the outset. We just wanted to get him a little bit acclimated to professional baseball.
After signing a four-year, $10 million deal with the Blue Jays in April, Hechavarria was sent to Toronto's Minor League complex in Florida, and he began his professional career with Class A Dunedin. Off the field, Hechavarria was able to work on his English, remain near some family and grow comfortable with his new surroundings.
Hechavarria's statistics with Dunedin were not pretty -- he hit just .193 over 41 games -- but Anthopoulos said the shortstop's development goes beyond the stat sheet. Now, Hechavarria will be working under Double-A manager Luis Rivera, who speaks Spanish and played parts of 11 seasons in the Majors as an infielder.
Promoting Hechavarria around this time during the season was the plan all along.
"I know the numbers in the Florida State League didn't look very strong," Anthopoulos said. "This was something that we had talked about, even when we signed him. We wanted to leave him in Florida for a little bit just to get acclimated."
Jays taking measured approach to moves
NEW YORK -- Blue Jays manager Alex Anthopoulos is not necessarily looking to use the upcoming July 31 Trade Deadline as a way to give his offense a boost. On Friday, Anthopoulos said he does not plan on making any reactionary deals.
"There's a reason we play six months," Anthopoulos said. "I have some thoughts about the team long-term and what we want to do, but with respect to a week stretch or a two-week stretch, to make sweeping changes, that's not something I necessarily believe in.
"I think we believe in certain players and guys go through ups and downs throughout the course of a season."
Entering Friday's game against the Yankees, the Blue Jays ranked first in the American League in home runs (115), but last in batting average (.237) and on-base percentage (.305). In June, Toronto went 9-17 and hit just .221 with 80 runs, or an average of 3.2 per game, and 26 homers.
Anthopoulos backs struggling Hill, Lind
NEW YORK -- Through the first three months of this season, the Blue Jays' offense has performed more or less how general manager Alex Anthopoulos' expected given the type of hitters in the lineup. Two exceptions would be second baseman Aaron Hill and designated hitter Adam Lind.
"They're not having strong years, and I think they'd be the first two to say it," Anthopoulos said on Friday. Unfortunately, all I can say is that we believe in both players strongly. I can go through a litany of players who have had weak first halves or weak seasons -- it happens all the time. It's unfortunate that it's happened to the two of them.
"With the way the offense performed the first two months of the season, we certainly were able to get through it. Now, with the offense scuffling a little bit, I think their struggles are a little bit more highlighted. There's no question, any time a player is struggling or not doing well, it's a concern and you want to do whatever you can to get them back on track."
Entering Friday, Hill was batting .191 with 11 home runs and 29 RBIs through 65 games for the Jays, while Lind was hitting .204 with nine homers and 36 RBIs through 78 games played. Last season, they each won an American League Silver Slugger Award, combining for 71 homers and 222 RBIs for Toronto.
"There's no question they'll end up being fine -- I just don't know when," Anthopoulos said. "I don't think they know when. They will come out of it. We just have to continue to remain patient with them."
Entering Friday, the Blue Jays had gone a season-high four games without launching a home run. Toronto had not cleared the fence in 38 innings -- the last coming from Vernon Wells in the third inning on Sunday in Philadelphia. The Jays still led the Majors with 115 home runs. ... Right fielder Jose Bautista (20 home runs) and Wells (19) currently represent the top home run duo in the Majors, with 39 blasts between them. ... Toronto's pitching staff led the Majors with 601 strikeouts, entering Friday. ... The Jays opened the season 14-6 on the road, but have gone just 6-17 away from home since that early 20-game stretch. ... Catching prospect J.P. Arencibia went 2-for-4 for Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Arencibia has hit safely in 18 of 19 games, raising his average to .311 in that span.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.