The move was made mostly to get Adam Lind into the lineup at first base as the club takes part in Interleague Play at National League parks where the designated hitter cannot be used.
"Eddie hasn't been over there for a while, but this allows us to get Lindy in there, you know, with Brett Lawrie being out, so it gets our bats in there," manager John Gibbons said.
Encarnacion originally transitioned from third base because of his defensive woes at the position. He committed an astonishing 112 errors in 664 career games at the hot corner and typically had a lot of issues making a consistent throw across the diamond.
The issues are not overly concerning in this particular case because the move is expected to be shortterm. Encarnacion could find himself back at first Saturday with left-hander Clayton Richard on the mound for San Diego, but he will most likely be back at third again Sunday.
If all goes well, the run at third could continue next week in San Francisco, but after that the club returns to the American League and Encarnacion will find himself back at first base, with Lind resuming his spot at DH.
"I think it's going to be fine," said third base coach Luis Rivera, who is in charge of infield defense. "He takes ground balls at first base every day. It's a different angle, but he's taking ground balls is the thing. He took ground balls yesterday, he took about 30 ground balls, maybe a little bit more than that.
"He threw to first base, he felt comfortable; he was moving his feet well, like he's doing at first base, and he made all good throws to first. So that's a good thing."
Encarnacion entered play Friday night hitting .264 with 14 homers and 45 RBIs in 54 games this season. He had 12 homers and 37 RBIs over his past 34 contests.
Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, and follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.