05/19/11 8:43 PM ET
Alomar to represent Blue Jays at Draft
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
Alomar, who works as a special assistant for the organization, will take his place at the club's table for the second consecutive year, and he will be joined by Jay Stenhouse, vice president of communications.
Commissioner Bud Selig will announce the first-round picks, but it will be up to Alomar and Stenhouse to phone in each selection and also announce the sandwich picks between the first and second rounds.
It's yet another event in what will be a busy summer for Alomar, who is set to become the first player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame wearing a Blue Jays cap.
Alomar spent five years in Toronto and was an integral component of the club's back-to-back World Series championships in 1992 and 1993. He won 10 Gold Gloves and four Silver Sluggers for his work at second base during his 17-year career.
Toronto has seven selections in the first 78 picks, with the top pick at No. 21 of the first round.
Live coverage of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft begins with a one-hour preview show on Monday, June 6, at 6 p.m. ET on MLB.com and MLB Network, followed by the first round and the supplemental compensation round.
MLB.com will provide exclusive coverage of Days 2 and 3, featuring a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player.
Struggling Encarnacion out of Blue Jays' lineup
TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion was left out of the starting lineup on Thursday night, one day after making a series of miscues in the field.
Encarnacion was charged with two errors in the series opener against the Rays and likely could have had at least one or two more to his name if not for some generous scorekeeping.
Juan Rivera was given the start at first base, but manager John Farrell insisted that the decision didn't have anything to do with Wednesday's game.
"I don't think so," Farrell said when asked if Encarnacion needed a mental day off. "I had a chance to talk with him earlier today, recognizing that some of the plays last night were tough on him. But this is a chance to keep Juan active, keep him sharp and keep him in the lineup."
Rivera made the most of his chance, homering off Tampa Bay starter Wade Davis in his first at-bat.
Encarnacion leads the Major Leagues in errors, with 10. He has committed seven at third base, with the other three at first in just nine games at the position.
Defensive struggles are nothing new for Encarnacion, who committed 18 errors in 2010 and twice posted 20-plus error seasons while with Cincinnati.
The 28-year-old has been visibly frustrated with his recent performance on the field.
"He takes his performances and his work personally," Farrell said. "I think more than anything, it shows that he does care.
"He wasn't pleased with some of the things that unfolded throughout the course of that game. Those are some of the things we talked about today, and the thing we have to do is continue to encourage [him] and keep putting him in positions where he can have success."
Encarnacion's problems haven't been limited to the field. He leads the team in doubles, with 12, but is batting just .244 and has yet to record a home run.
Farrell believes that Encarnacion has tried to overcompensate for his lack of power, and that has caused Encarnacion's swing to get longer, and his timing has been thrown off.
"He recognizes that he has gone a long stretch without a home run, and admittedly has tried to overpower the bat and overpower the swing," Farrell said.
"He always has been a guy that has hit from right-centre to down the left-field line. When we see balls that are foul balls off to the right side of the infield, or fly balls to right, he's overswinging."
Encarnacion and Rivera are expected to split playing time at first base until Adam Lind is ready to return from the 15-day disabled list. Rivera appeared in 13 games at the position last season while playing for the Angels.
Lind to be out longer than expected
TORONTO -- First baseman Adam Lind is expected to miss at least 10 more days because of the injury to his lower back.
Lind was tentatively scheduled to return from the 15-day disabled list on Monday, but his rehab will take longer than expected.
The 27-year-old hasn't played since May 7 after being removed from a game with tightness in his lower back, and he has been dealing with spasms.
Lind has been working out at the club's Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla.
"[He's working on] core strengthening, further addressing the inflammation that is in that spot, and then [he'll resume] baseball activities," said manager John Farrell.
Before leaving for Florida, Lind said that he feels the injury is a direct result of not doing enough exercises to strengthen the core of his body.
Lind spent the 2010 season as a designated hitter, and the rigors of playing first base every day this season clearly took a physical toll. He started experiencing general stiffness before the back problems occurred and realized the problem needed to be addressed.
"His physical program was changing even before he went down," Farrell said.
"The position obviously has different physical demands, and we're addressing that. Even during the offseason, his workout program had changed, but then it continued to adjust once we got into the season."
Lind's absence has created a void in the middle of the batting order. He was hitting .313 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs at the time of his injury and leaves the club searching for someone to provide the necessary protection for Jose Bautista.
Outfielder Corey Patterson entered Thursday night's game against the Rays just two hits shy of 1,000 for his career. ... Toronto's relief corps entered Thursday's game having surrendered just one earned run over its past 19 innings. The bullpen leads the American League in strikeouts (124) and opponents' batting average (.200).