ARLINGTON -- Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion was charged with a fielding error in each of the Blue Jays' first two games, fueling more criticism about his defense. Manager Cito Gaston said he is not considering using a late-inning defensive replacement for Encarnacion right now.
"I think that would almost destroy him, as far as his confidence," Gaston said on Thursday. "It's the third game. You don't want guys starting to think that you don't have any confidence in them at all. There's a lot of personal feelings going on around this game."
Gaston was quick to point out that Encarnacion is still working on getting his timing down at third base and in the batter's box. The third baseman sat out for the first three weeks of Spring Training due to weakness in his surgically repaired left wrist. Gaston wants to give Encarnacion more time before considering late-inning alternatives.
"He's still having a little bit of his Spring Training right now," Gaston said. "We'll wait and see how that goes. I won't say I won't ever [use a defensive replacement], but right now we'll kind of let it go and see if he gets any better in there. He's made some tough plays, too."