SAN FRANCISCO -- Edwin Encarnacion will return to his familiar spot at first base when the Blue Jays return home against the Rangers on Friday night.
Encarnacion got one last start at third Wednesday afternoon against the Giants. It was his fifth appearance at the position while the club went on a West Coast road trip during Interleague Play.
The situation wasn't exactly ideal, but the Blue Jays wanted to shift him across the diamond as a way to find increased playing time for designated hitter Adam Lind at first base.
"He's going to go back to first base," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "This was just for National League rules; it's fair to him. But he has done a nice job over there, he really has."
Encarnacion began his Major League career at third base but eventually transitioned to first because of his prolonged defensive struggles at the position. He's actually always fielded his position at third relatively well but frequently had issues with having an accurate throw to first.
The Dominican Republic native entered play Wednesday with a pair of errors in four games at third this season. That only added to his career woes as he now has a total of 114 errors in 668 games at the hot corner.
Despite the struggles at third, he has proven to be a very reliable defender at first. He also continues to be one of the Blue Jays' best hitters as he entered Wednesday's series finale with 17 homers and 48 RBIs in 58 games this season.
DeRosa shares thoughts on PED investigation
SAN FRANCISCO -- Following Tuesday night's ESPN report that Major League Baseball could pursue the suspension of more than 20 players, including teammate Melky Cabrera, the Blue Jays' Mark DeRosa weighed in on the issue.
"I don't know the ins and outs, but [Cabrera] has served a suspension for the mistakes he has made," DeRosa said. "I don't know if this will reopen the case according to him. But until the facts come out, until everything comes out, I think it's better off not to comment.
"Honestly, it's depressing to see it come to the surface again, but at the same time, from my standpoint, if there are guys cheating the system that was put in place, I'd like to see them penalized."
Cabrera was mentioned in the ESPN report, which stated more than 20 players could be suspended for their connection to the Miami-area Biogenesis anti-aging clinic accused of supplying performance-enhancing substances to athletes.
The 28-year-old Cabrera served a 50-game suspension last season after he tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
DeRosa has been around the Major Leagues for 16 years and played during the height of baseball's apparent performance-enhancing drugs problem. A lot has changed since he broke into the big leagues back in 1998, but there was a genuine hope that the controversies had become a thing of the past.
DeRosa made it clear he would like to see those who are cheating brought to justice. Major League Baseball has done a lot to clean up the game and players are subjected to stringent testing, which can be bothersome to athletes but at the same time is embraced because of its overall impact.
DeRosa just doesn't want to see the progress ignored or discredited because a select number of athletes allegedly continue to find ways to try to beat the system.
"That's the thing that I think people lose sight of: Back when I first came up, we weren't tested for steroids," DeRosa said. "Not to say people who were doing it weren't completely cheating, but we weren't tested. Now, we have put in place to clean up the game for the right reasons and guys are still trying to undermine the system.
"I'm sure that's the same in all walks of life and in all professions. I think not only are you cheating the game but you're going about it in such a shady way. I just think if it comes to light that this is 100 percent factual, I think that the suspensions are warranted."
• The Blue Jays are still waiting for Brett Lawrie's sprained left ankle to display some noticeable signs of improvement. Lawrie has been out since May 27 after suffering the injury while stealing second base in a game against the Braves, and there's no immediate timetable for his return.
"Still swollen, still painful," Gibbons said. "It's more than we expected early on, but you never know. Those high ankle sprains are the worst kind."