I may have spoken too soon when I used my first vote for the American League All-Star team on May 27. I voted for Miguel Cabrera to start at first base. Cabrera is having a very nice season at .323, 8 HR, and 46 RBI through May 28. Not many could argue against voting for Cabrera, but Toronto Blue Jays fans might take exception. Why? They have their own star first baseman who just set a team record.
On Thursday, May 29, Edwin Encarnacion blasted his 17th home run of the season, a two-run shot off Kansas City Royals starter James Shields. While 17 home runs through one third of the season is stellar in its own right, Encarnacion had only two in April. That means he hit 15 of those long balls in May, a new team record for home runs in any month as reported by Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. He leads all MLB players in May with those 15 home runs and trails only Baltimore’s Nelson Cruz (19) for the Major League lead for the season.
Encarnacion broke the record previously held by teammate Jose Bautista, making himself a lock for team Player of the Month. Chisholm reports that Encarnacion also tied former Blue Jay George Bell for most RBI in May at 31. He has two more days to break that record if he does not do so during the rest of Thursday night’s game.

Even better

For added measure, Encarnacion sent a second home run into orbit, and this one may have even more significance. Chisholm reports that this second two-run shot off Shields makes Thursday night the fifth time Encarnacion has homered twice in a game since May 8. Even more, if that is imaginable, it is his 16th home run of the month, extending his team record but tying the legendary Mickey Mantle for the American League record for home runs in May. Again, Edwin Encarnacion tied Mickey Mantle for a home run record! One more home run by Saturday will tie the Major League record (Barry Bonds, 2001).
For the season, Encarnacion is hitting .263/.339/.579 with 18 HR and 48 RBI. Although his average is well below that of Cabrera, he is second in the American League in home runs and tied for first with Cruz in RBI.
With the American League normally taking on three first basemen in the All Star game, Encarnacion is sure to join Cabrera and Chicago White Sox rookie sensation Jose Abreu at Target Field on July 15. The only question is which one will start, and that is up to the fans. I voted for Cabrera the first time, but I still have 34 more votes. Maybe it is time to make a change. At this point, my next vote for first base will go to Toronto’s Edwin Encarnacion.
To cast a vote, see the official online All-Star ballot found on MLB.com.
PHOTO CREDIT: Chris O’Meara/The Associated Press
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