Edwin Encarnacion is joining the Blue Jays next month.
Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the former Blue Jays star will link up with the baseball club in March as a guest coach and will explore a larger role with the club moving forward, alongside former Jays pitcher Pat Hentgen.
Paul Quantrill, who played six seasons for the Jays, has also joined the team as a special assistant to baseball operations.
Besides adding Victor Martinez, Paul Quantrill is also back as a special assistant to baseball operations. Edwin Encarnacion and Pat Hentgen will join Blue Jays camp next month to explore larger roles with the club, too. https://t.co/ZYCCjybYmQ
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) February 24, 2023
Encarnacion retired following the 2020 season, as a member of the Chicago White Sox. He ingrained himself in Toronto sports lore through his eight seasons with the Blue Jays, most notably during the team’s playoff runs in 2015 and 2016.
In 2016, his three-run walk-off home run against the Baltimore Orioles in the AL Wild Card game powered the Jays to the ALDS.
Throughout his career in Toronto, Encarnacion played 999 games for the Blue Jays, and it looks like he’ll get his 1,000th game as a member of the baseball club from the bench.
Between 2012 and 2015, Encarnacion hit 193 homers in just 3,133 plate appearances and was arguably the Jays’ best player. Meanwhile, fellow soon-to-be guest coach, Hentgen won the Cy Young Award in 1996.
Although the Blue Jays didn’t make it past the ALCS through Encarnacion’s time in Toronto, he helped lead some of the best Jays teams since the 1990s and brought a calm demeanour to the team with his loveable “parrot” celebration.
Now, with a young group leading Toronto’s charge towards a World Series title, Encarnacion’s experience, along with Hentgen and Quantrill, could help the team make similarly deep playoff pushes.
The Blue Jays return to MLB play on March 30 when they visit the St. Louis Cardinals. The Jays’ home opener at the newly-renovated Rogers Centre is on April 11 against the Detroit Tigers.