You might remember that Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion put together a relatively quiet start to the season by his usual lofty standards, batting .260/.345/.430 with two home runs and 15 RBI over his first 27 games. Boy, I hope you were patient with him in fantasy leagues.
Encarnacion's fantastic May continued Thursday night, as he hit a pair of two-run homers in a loss to the Royals. He's now up to 16 home runs this month, tying Mickey Mantle (1956) for the American League record for May. Barry Bonds (2001) holds the MLB record with 17 home runs in May, so Encarnacion still has two days left to catch him. The 31-year-old is just the third player to amass five multi-homer games in any one month, joining Harmon Killebrew (1959) and Albert Belle (1995). Pretty impressive company all the way around.
Encarnacion has evolved into one of the game's most productive hitters over the past two seasons, batting .276/.377/.546 between 2012-2013, but he's currently poised for his best season yet. With 18 home runs, he's already halfway to his total in the category from all of last season. And we still have about two-thirds of the season to go. Things could get very interesting here.
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Mejia Finding His Groove
While it wasn't the original plan, it looks like Jenrry Mejia is getting comfortable in the Mets' closer role.
Mejia struck out the side Thursday night against the Phillies for his fifth save of the season. The 24-year-old right-hander has been very impressive since making the transition from the rotation to the bullpen earlier this month, allowing just one unearned run to go along with a 12/3 K/BB ratio over 10 1/3 innings.
While there was some question about how Mejia would respond to regular work, he has made four appearances in the last five days. And he seems to enjoy his new situation. Some skepticism about his health is probably warranted given his history, but he's only owned in 42 percent of Yahoo leagues. That number should be much higher.
Yankees Bats on the Mend
Good news on two important veteran bats in the Yankees' lineup.
During an examination with Dr. Keith Raskin on Thursday, Mark Teixeira was diagnosed with inflammation in his surgically-repaired right wrist. In other words, he's not dealing with any structural damage. The Yankees are calling him day-to-day for now.
Teixeira has been pretty productive in the early part of the season, batting .248/.365/.488 with nine home runs and 24 RBI over 35 games. He was on a 30-homer pace prior to the recent shutdown, but the Yankees figure to give him routine days off moving forward. No reason to risk a possible setback.
While Teixeira could be back in New York's lineup in a matter of days, Carlos Beltran took 25 swings from each side of the plate Thursday in the batting cage at Yankee Stadium. He didn't feel any discomfort in his right elbow and the plan calls for him to repeat the workout Friday.
Beltran was diagnosed with a bone spur in his right elbow earlier this month and has already received two cortisone shots. He's trying to avoid surgery, which could cost him as much as 10-12 weeks. So far, so good on that front.
Zobrist Ready to Return
Ben Zobrist dislocated his left thumb on a head-first slide into second base on May 14, but he's slated to rejoin the Rays on Friday for the start of a three-game series against the Red Sox.
Zobrist only needed one minor league rehab game with High-A Charlotte on Wednesday to convince the Rays that he's ready to go. The original plan called for him to play another game on Thursday. He'll only end up missing the minimum 15 days.
Zobrist, who turned 33 early this week, was batting .260/.352/.364 with three home runs, nine RBI, three stolen bases, and 24 runs scored over 40 games prior to the injury. While his production has begun to fade somewhat from a fantasy perspective, he still gets on base at a healthy clip and his multi-position eligibility is quite handy.
AL Quick Hits: George Springer launched his seventh home run in his last seven games -- and his 10th of the season -- in Thursday's win over the Orioles … Robinson Cano was scratched from Thursday's lineup due to illness … David Ortiz was scratched from Thursday's lineup due to right calf soreness, but the hope is that he'll be ready to return on Friday … Josh Hamilton (thumb) hopes to resume his minor league rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Salt Lake … Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said on WEEI in Boston on Thursday that he expects to reopen contract talks with Jon Lester at some point this season … Shin-Soo Choo went 2-for-4 with a three-run double in Thursday's win over the Twins … Mike Napoli (finger) could resume swinging a bat within the next few days … Jed Lowrie (trapezius muscle) was held out of the A's lineup Thursday against the Tigers … Rick Porcello notched his eighth win Thursday against the Athletics, despite allowing five hits, six walks, and a hit batsman over 5 2/3 innings … Matt Wieters has reported improvement in his right elbow over the past few days and will attempt to throw Friday … FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Yankees are among the teams with potential interest in free agent Kendrys Morales … Manny Machado was dropped to seventh in the Orioles' batting order Thursday against the Astros …Omar Infante went 2-for-6 with three RBI on Thursday to help the Royals snap the Blue Jays' nine-game winning streak … Xander Bogaerts went 3-for-5 with an RBI on Thursday against the Braves and now owns an impressive .296/.388/.425 batting line on the year ...The Red Sox will call up right-hander Rubby De La Rosa to start Saturday against the Rays …
NL Quick Hits: Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro, Jr. estimated Thursday that Cliff Lee (elbow) is about a week away from resuming throwing … Joey Votto (quad) could take live batting practice in the next few days … Buster Posey was held out of Thursday's lineup with a lingering back issue, but he's not expected to miss an extended period of time … Zack Wheeler struck out nine batters over 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball Thursday in a win over the Phillies … The hot-hitting Pablo Sandoval homered Thursday and has driven in a run in nine straight games … Craig Kimbrel took the loss Thursday against the Red Sox after Tommy La Stella committed an error at second base which allowed the winning run to score … Matt Cain (hamstring) ran and threw off flat ground Thursday, but the Giants will wait until Friday to decide whether he'll start Saturday against the Cardinals … Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said Thursday that Jason Grilli is ready to retake the team's closer role … Mike Morse swatted his 11th home run of the season and drove in three runs in Thursday's win over the Cardinals … Mark Trumbo said "everything felt good" after he took 50 swings off a tee for a second straight day Thursday … Andrelton Simmons (ankle) went 2-for-4 with a stolen base in his return to action Thursday ... Josh Collmenter faced the minimum in a three-hit shutout against the Reds on Thursday … Dodgers reliever Chris Withrow was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and will likely need Tommy John surgery … Travis d'Arnaud (concussion) went 0-for-4 with a strikeout in his return from the disabled list Thursday …