LEADING OFF: Encarnación in, Frazier out in NY; Braves roll
A look at what’s happening around the majors Monday:
Edwin Encarnación will find himself in a familiar spot after he joins the Yankees in the Bronx. Manager Aaron Boone plans to use the AL home run leader as his team’s primary designated hitter once the 36-year-old slugger arrives. The AL East leaders acquired Encarnación for a minor league pitcher in a late-night trade Saturday with Seattle. Boone said he expects Encarnación to be available when the Yankees open a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.
To make space for the veteran slugger, young outfielder Clint Frazier was optioned to Triple-A, even though he was batting .283 with 11 homers and an .843 OPS. New York is brimming with big bats but could use another starting pitcher, and Frazier could be an enticing piece to dangle on the trade market.
ALL TOGETHER NOW
The Braves have won 9 of 10, including 2 of 3 against Philadelphia over the weekend, and they will try to stretch their 2 1/2-game NL East lead in a series against the Mets. Atlanta drubbed the Phillies 15-1 Sunday, a game that left manager Brian Snitker concluding “We’re pulling it all together.” Breakout ace Mike Soroka (7-1, 1.92) is set to pitch against New York’s Zack Wheeler (5-4, 4.87).
Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong has homered in three of his past four games, a roll he’ll ride into a four-game home series against the Marlins. DeJong picked on the Mets all weekend, capping his outburst with a tiebreaking homer in the eighth inning Sunday. After opening the season as St. Louis’ three-hitter, DeJong was bumped recently to the two-spot, one place ahead of Paul Goldschmidt. He’s homered five times in 15 games since manager Mike Shildt made the change.
BACK TO IT
Cleveland right-hander Mike Clevinger is set to return from the injured list to start against Texas. Clevinger strained a muscle in his upper back April 7 during his second start of the season, interrupting a sensational beginning to his year that included 22 strikeouts and two hits over 12 shutout innings. He’ll oppose right-hander Lance Lynn (7-4, 4.40) in Arlington.