Hoffpauir makes return trip to Big Leagues

Published 12:06 am Monday, June 21, 2010

NATCHEZ — Jarrett Hoffpauir’s Major League dream has been revived.

The Vidalia native was called up to the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday after hitting .328 with nine home runs and 43 RBI in 57 games for the Blue Jays’ AAA affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s.

It’s the second year in a row Hoffpauir has received the call up. But unlike last year, when he had a short two-week stint in St. Louis replacing injured Mark DeRosa, Hoffpauir’s stay in Toronto could last awhile.

The Blue Jays sent struggling third baseman Edwin Encarnacion to AAA and called up Hoffpauir to take his spot.

In 37 games this year, Encarnacion is hitting just .200 with nine home runs and 22 RBI. But during his last 22 games, he was hitting just .145.

Hoffpauir’s father, Johnny Lee Hoffpauir, said Jarrett was told he would be the Blue Jays’ every day third baseman for the time being.

Hoffpauir has played second base his whole career, but did play a little at third base in spring training.

“It’s a little out of position for him, but it does get him in the lineup,” Johnny Lee Hoffpauir said. “We’ll see how it goes. It should be interesting.”

Jarrett had a pretty good idea he was being called up when he was removed from Las Vegas’ game Sunday, Johnny Lee said.

“Jarrett had already batted two times in the game, and was out in the field when the manager came out and pulled him off the field,” Johnny Lee said. “All the players on both sides were aware of what happened, and the players on the Colorado Springs team gave him an ovation. It was pretty cool.”

Jarrett’s call up was the perfect Father’s Day gift for Johnny Lee.

“I told him ‘Thanks for the Father’s Day present,’” Johnny Lee said. “This is one Father’s Day I won’t forget. It was a very special day.”

The Blue Jays are off today, and will host a three-game series with Hoffpauir’s old team, the Cardinals, beginning Tuesday.