TORONTO -- The Tournament 12 is set to kick off on Saturday morning at Rogers Centre, with 10 teams from across the country competing for a championship in front of scouts from across baseball.
There will be three teams from Ontario, two from Quebec and one each from the Prairies, Alberta, British Columbia and Atlanta. It will mostly feature athletes who are eligible for next year's Draft, with the exception of one Futures team that has younger prospects.
Scouts from 17 universities in the United States have confirmed their attendance, while some from various organizations across Major League Baseball also will be there.
"Here you're going to have 10 teams, you're going to play against each other four times, so you're going to have more opportunity than just one day," said Blue Jays Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, who is the commissioner for the tournament.
"That's the beauty of this. You can just go out there and play baseball. That's really it. You can't say too much, because you have to see what they're going to do on the field. This is an opportunity for them to perform."
Day 1 will kick off Saturday morning at 8 a.m. ET with Cole White taking the mound for Ontario-Black, while J.P. Stevenson will get the call for Maritimes-Grey. That game will be immediately followed by Ontario-Maroon's Brodie Harkness pitching against Alberta-Red's Mike Soroka.
Later in the day, Ontario Green's Zach Pop will take on British Columbia-Orange's Kurtis Horne. Also scheduled to pitch that day are Ben Onyshko (Prairies-Brown), Liam Munshi (Futures-Navy), Pat Lalonde (Quebec-Blue), Joel Piece (Ontario-Green), Jason Tarapasky (Quebec-White) and Garan Ianni (Ontario-Maroon).
The first of what could become an annual tournament will take place over the course of four days at Rogers Centre. It will also have a fifth day that includes a showcase for the scouts and has been designed to help build the game in Canada and help local athletes get recognized south of the border.
Blue Jays' Encarnacion to have wrist surgery
TORONTO -- Edwin Encarnacion will miss the remainder of the season after it was announced on Tuesday afternoon that he will undergo surgery on his left wrist in the near future.
Encarnacion has been dealing with discomfort in the area for most of the season, but the pain became a lot worse during the past two weeks. He was held out of the lineup for a few games and returned last weekend but ultimately had to be shut down when the condition didn't improve.
The veteran first baseman will have the procedure performed later this week to repair the cartilage and will require a two-month rehab, but he's expected to make a full recovery before Spring Training.
"It's not a good feeling to have surgery, but I'm happy to get it done, because it has been bothering me a lot every swing I make," Encarnacion said. "I just want to get it done.
"The last couple of weeks were worse. Every swing I make I've been feeling it, so I can't swing it like that anymore."
The Blue Jays have known for the past couple of weeks that surgery would be required, but Encarnacion was allowed to continue playing because it was determined he couldn't do any further damage to the area.
Encarnacion wanted to finish the year but decided to step aside when the pain became too much. That moved up the timeline for his surgery, but it remains the exact same procedure that was going to be performed in the first place and the injury isn't considered as serious as the one Jose Bautista suffered last year.
The 30-year-old Encarnacion now has his season come to a close just four home runs shy of 40. He was looking to become just the third player in franchise history to hit that 40-homer milestone in back-to-back seasons after Bautista and Carlos Delgado previously accomplished the feat.
"That was my goal, I tried to finish the year playing with the team and I tried to make it to 40 home runs," Encarnacion said. "I wanted to try to make it two years in a row, but the way I was feeling, I couldn't make it. But I feel good with my season and I hope next year we come back playing better, and for this time in the year, next year, to be playing for the playoffs."
Encarnacion arguably was the Blue Jays' most valuable player again this season. He hit .272 with an impressive .904 OPS while driving in 104 runs in 142 games. The numbers were eerily similar to last season during a breakout year that resulted in a lucrative multi-year contract extension.
Elbow injury puts end to lefty Cecil's season
TORONTO -- The injuries continued to pile up for the Blue Jays on Tuesday as left-hander Brett Cecil was shut down for the year because of an elbow injury.
Cecil first began experiencing some symptoms approximately a month ago, which led to a more limited role in the bullpen. He had been examined by doctors and was informed he could keep pitching but that he would require more rest between outings.
The hope was that Cecil could make it through the remainder of the season, but that changed in recent days when the discomfort lingered. Despite the location of the injury, Cecil doesn't seem overly worried that he might be a candidate for Tommy John surgery, because doctors previously ruled out damage to his ligament.
"I'm about 90-percent sure that it's just for precautionary reasons and think it's a matter of getting rest in the offseason," Cecil said.
"If it was in the ligament, I would have felt that, and I didn't. Everything right now just points to nerve inflammation, which is good, in the sense that it's not something else, but the doctor also told me that it's bad in a way, that the nerve is getting irritated because it's being overworked."
Cecil left the team late Tuesday afternoon and is now expected to travel to the club's Minor League complex in Florida. He'll be re-examined in the near future and surgery hasn't been completely ruled out, but the hope remains that if a procedure is required, it would just be a minor operation.
The fact that Cecil's season comes to a slightly premature end shouldn't come as a major surprise considering his workload from earlier in the year. He transitioned to the bullpen during Spring Training and, once there, combined with right-hander Steve Delabar in middle relief.
Toronto's bullpen was extremely overworked during the first half of the year because of an underwhelming performance by the starting rotation. It ultimately caught up to Cecil and Delabar as both pitchers ended up getting hurt, but in Cecil's case, it could be more fatigue than any serious structural issues.
"For the last month or so, I've probably had three or four days off between outings," Cecil said. "It was good, it was fine, completely went away. I didn't feel much of anything at all, and then the last time I pitched, the next day, it was really irritated, and for me it made sense to at least say something, because after having that much rest, it's still getting flared up again.
"Let's take the high road and make sure there's nothing serious that's wrong, which I don't think it is. The trainers don't think it is, the doctors don't think it is, but after it has popped up for a second time, might as well get a precautionary MRI, peace-of-mind kind of thing."