Richard Griffin had a feature on Adam Lind at the Toronto Star over the weekend, focusing mostly on the transition from the approach preached by Cito Gaston to the one preferred by John Farrell and Alex Anthopoulos.

I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry money quote:

“Just to show the staff that I’m trying to have long at-bats. Coming from the Cito Gaston era, where it’s like, ‘What’re you doing?’ if you have 10-pitch at-bats, to this staff,” Lind said. “The expression that they’ve used with me is ‘controlled aggression.’ “

That’s our Cito!

Aaaand, that’s really all I’ve got. Though, I supposed, since we’re talking about it anyway, I should note that there were few more interesting, and less gloat-worthy, tidbits in the piece. For example:

- Dwayne Murphy, the holdover hitting coach from Gaston’s staff– with a .356 OBP– who Griffin suggests has changed his lesson plan as the organization’s philosophy has shifted.

- Griffin says that “Lind needs to respond to his critics, many of them within the organization,” and tells us that the Jays are contemplating only having him hit cleanup against right-handed pitching.

- “We might also have the ability against a tough left-hander if that’s a day that we have Adam on the bench, to be able to pinch-hit him late in the game,” John Farrell adds. “We’re certainly not running from him by any means, but we have a lot more flexibility.”

- Lind has finally now started to come around with the bat, it seems, with Griffin focusing on a ten-pitch at-bat that resulted in a home run, and Lind preferring the walk he took Saturday on a back leg slider.

- “When he swings at balls inside the strike zone, he’s a very dangerous hitter,” says John Farrell, getting a bit FanGraphs-y.

As much as I was all for dumping on him last week, Lind is certainly not hopeless. It’ll be interesting to see how the club handles him over the course of the season. Maybe not fun, per se, but interesting…

 

Pic of Cito art via @Score_Tomlinson

Comments (22)

  1. Well, over the course of two days his spring training went from disappointing to pretty nice. Not sure if that does anything other than show how worthless ST stats are but there’s that at least.

    • I just removed Lind from my “really a good guy but misunderstood” list and now he decides to do some hitting? After 2 years of this crap I’ll have to wait and see,

      The part in the Griffin article I liked was the 2 10 pitch AB’s Lind had. That means to me that the guy can hit. One absolute necessity of any good hitter is the abilty to foul off tough pitches while waiting for a walk or a pitch to hit. Lind has shown this ability in the past. Maybe it’s back.

  2. I’ve read all this Adam Lind BS with a pinch of salt. It has been going on long enough that I have been diagnosed with high blood pressure.

    My thought is, no offense intended to Lind, the person, that he cannot manage the grind. The mental toll of a 162 game season seems to have bested him in all but one of his years in the bigs. He has commented about a lack of focus from DHing only, even after much success with that the previous year. Then there was the toll of playing 1B, though he denied the severity of the injury. He even talked about ‘spacing out’ during at bats last year, losing focus during games. He doesn’t get ‘locked in’ like Bautista or Lawrie or JPA.

    I can’t prove any of this, of course, but if, after 4 years as an MLB regular, you are still leaning heavily on your coaches just to make game to game adjusments, you don’t believe enough in your own abilities and skills. And in any major league sport, all of the other guys looking to exploit weakness will find the symptoms of that doubt and exploit it over and over again.

    He is 1 for 16 careeer vs. Rand Choate, with 8K, 1BB, and almost every at bat looks exactly the same.

    Can he change? Sure. But he’s not going to do it on his own, he needs somebody whispering the right approach in his ear all the time.

  3. When Lind was successful (2009), did he not lead the Majors in Pitches Per At Bat? And IIRC that was back when Lind would always be seen chatting next to Cito in the dugout (very adorable).

  4. It should be interesting to watch the fan opinions of certain players go from one extreme to another this season.

  5. @Matt E and Stoeten:

    Here’s the photoshop for you. Let me know if the url fails.

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/576/940snider8col.jpg/

  6. This is how the Jays spent 20 years out of the play offs. Holding on to a guy forever because he has potential or hope he will come around. Drop the guy already. Even if he does figure it out this year He is capable of a 2 year slump. Who want that on a team trying to pretent that they care about winning. That and the lack of a back end are why it will be another year of wait till next year when russ adams and Kevin Cash get here. then we will be cooking.

  7. The Ghost of Cito will be haunting the cavernous concrete corridors of Skydome for decades…

  8. lind is aware that he posted the best season of his career, with the highest walk rate, under cito right?

  9. The M- word (for Murphy) is finally mentioned. Are we sure this is the guy we need for batters with problems? Snider went down last year after failing miserably and Mottola put him back together in Las Vegas. When he got back the the bigs, he lasted a month and fell apart again. Murphy obviously couldnt help but dont he and Mottola talk to each other?
    They sent Murphy down to work with Rasmus in the off season. So far so good!

    • You put far too much stock in the power of hitting coaches, I think.

      • Maybe, but I have a feeling Gose and Hech will be much better after a season under Mottola in AAA.

        I’d just like to see what Mottola could do with the “problem” guys like Snider and Rasmus.

    • I think people are too quick to credit Mottola for certain hitters’ success in AAA. I mean, couldn’t it also be that Snider hit better there because it was the minor leagues? It’s probably a lot easier to make the adjustments your coach is suggesting when the games don’t matter and the competition is inferior. Flip Murphy and Mottola, and I think Murphy could have been just as helpful working one-on-one with Snider in Vegas as Mottola was. I’d guess the environment has a ton more to do with it than the actual coach.

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