The Jays made official this morning what we all knew was going to happen after the results of Adam Lind’s “Mom-RI” revealed that he’d be out six-to-eight weeks with a fractured right foot [Update: Actually, Ben Nicholson-Smith tweets that this afternoon the Jays said that Lind will be in a walking boot for 5-7 days, and back into games in 2-3 weeks. OK!], placing him on the disabled list and recalling Dan Johnson from Buffalo to make his Blue Jays debut (D’ing Bobby Korecky FA in the process to make room on the 40-man).

Fans can probably be forgiven for believing that while Lind has actually not been great over the last few weeks, and Johnson has been crushing at Triple-A, seems almost beside the point given the “no light at the end of the tunnel” sort of situation that the Jays are currently mired in. We all know the litany of troubles: the losses, the wasting of good pitching performances, the coughing up of a late lead on Wednesday to an Albert Pujols home run, Encarnacion and Lawrie and now Lind being on the shelf, Juan Francisco going full pumpkin, Bautista and Reyes hurting and not hitting like their normal selves. A 4.5 game lead in the AL East on June 11th turned into a 3.0 game deficit today.

Shit, the Jays losing Lind didn’t even warrant mention (likely because it was already old news by then, but still!) in Drew’s piece at theScore on MLB’s “Black Thursday,” which saw Masahiro Tanaka, Brandon Phillips, and Yadier Molina all go down.

But it’s not untrue that Lind has hit a pedestrian .275/.333/.377 (98 wRC+) in his last 75 plate appearances, and an awful .174/.174/.261 over his last ten (23 PA, wRC+ of 9). Or that Johnson — a lefty-hitting 1B/DH with some ability to be bad at a few other positions (3B/OF) — has been fantastic in the International League, posting a .248/.402/.471 line (144 wRC+) in 403 plate appearances for Buffalo.

Obviously those numbers won’t translate to the big leagues, but he’s actually been a decent enough big league hitter over 1556 career plate appearances, posting a 101 wRC+ by way of a .236/.337/.411 line. He’s had some short and terrible stints — a .119/.187/.202 line in 91 plate appearances for the Rays in 2011, for example — but some extended good ones, mostly in his early career, and has been an excellent Triple-A hitter over nearly 4000 plate appearances at the level, posting a .283/.403/.513 line.

So, yes, he’s been a journeyman (he took a year off to go to Japan, even) and there maybe isn’t a tonne to dream on for a guy who has been overlooked so many times this season, and had so many chances to establish himself in the big leagues, but he’s hardly nothing, either. He’s an immediate upgrade on what a hobbled Lind was offering, he can take a walk (13.2% walk rate as a big leaguer), some of his big leauge struggles and time spent in the wilderness was due to a hand injury, and he’s even shown enough against same-sided pitching — a .796 OPS against lefties this year in 149 plate appearances, and a couple hollow OBPs above .325 in the previous three seasons in AAA, for whatever that’s worth — to, sadly, probably be an upgrade on some of the bats this club has been running out against lefties of late.

And he’s not short on self belief, either. In an outstanding piece at Bull City Summer, Adam Sobsey writes about Johnson,

Two seasons ago, while he was playing for Charlotte, Johnson told me that he had had interest from National League teams, who wanted to put him on their major-league bench for left-handed platoon and pinch hitting duty. But Johnson turned down the guaranteed major-league salary (half a million dollars), plus pension and union membership. He still believed he could be a big-league regular, and in order to land that full-time job he’d have to play in the American League, which has the designated hitter, the position where Johnson’s skills most comfortably belong (although he’s a better first baseman than his reputation allows.) So he gambled on a much lesser minor-league contract and started the last two seasons in Triple-A, hoping for a crack at the bigger dream.

He also tells us that this season Johnson has adopted a new batting stance this season, more traditional looking than the open stance many fans may remember. It would be a bit of a stretch to think that maybe this will have changed him for the better and for good as he gets set to make his 2014 debut in the majors (he hits 8th tonight in Tampa, the city where he made his most famous baseball moment, a game-tying, two-strike, two-out home run on the epic last day of 2011 that saved the Rays’ season), but one can hope.

Of course, all this doesn’t mean that losing Lind, who currently ranks fourth in MLB among hitters with over 100 PA against right-handers with a 178 wRC+, won’t hurt. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be the sort of death blow to the club that the news maybe felt like when it was first learned that yet another of their key bats was leaving the lineup for an extended period. Not that the way they’re teetering they necessarily need a death blow at this point anyway. Ugh.

Comments (77)

  1. I hope you had a good mini vacation!

  2. Those OBPs look pretty decent. Hopefully he can do well up here.

  3. On a separate note, what in the fuck has happened to Colby?

  4. “A 4.5 game lead in the AL East on June 11th turned into a 3.0 game deficit today.”

    This could just as easily go the other way too. Jays have an easier schedule than O’s for a month or so after the break.

    Would sure help if they could make a few moves now to upgrade the roster before it’s too late though.

    • Something would be nice. This team needs a boost, the kind of boost bringing in some help would bring. This team is tired, beat up and pressing. Come on AA get something done.

      • I don’t know…it’s not like the Jays are alone with large division leads being lost/whittled away. I think it’s best to wait to see how the rehabs for Lawrie, Lind and Encarnacion go…getting those guys back would be even better than any deadline deal you can make.

  5. Content. Sweet content.

  6. Good move, guy can hit. Let’s hope he can still hit at the MLB level.

  7. I mean…that O’s have the sort of line up that could just shit a brick for a month, don’t they? Whoever ends up winning the East is going to be whoever doesn’t shit their pants the most. Things are going to get ugly.

  8. Where’s Shea Hillenbrand? Heard the jays are looking at him so he can write things about sinking ships on the chalk board again

  9. Are you amped up about the Netherland/Brazil game tomorrow Stoeten?

  10. He’s always had a rep as a good obp guy with pop. I’d think that he’s been passed over a few times already in part to ‘save’ him for later (september? playoffs?) and not expose him to waivers once the DL victim of the day returned, or some other short-term bench need.

    Kind of a similar-but-opposite reality to what faces phat juan: i’m sure the jays would have loved to stash him in the minors at some point since may-june, but also know that he has utility on the 25-man and are retiscent to expose him to waivers.

  11. Lind timetable changed…may be back in 2-3 weeks (I guess the 6-8 weeks estimate included the 3 weeks he’s been playing with the break?)

    per Benny Fresh: Adam Lind in walking boot for 5-7 days per #BlueJays. Should be back in games within 2-3 weeks.

    Also: Jays rumoured to be sniffing around Soria, and contemplating bringing Sanchez and Norris up at some point to fortify the ‘pen…

    • ….and of course Stoeten is all over the Lind update. Guess I should have looked for an update before posting.

  12. With the Yankees losing Tanaka at least that’s a serious blow to the Yankees. The Yankees are losing steam forsure. The Jays need to make a decision to buy or sell and go big either way.

  13. maybe Lind has been terrible the last 10 games because he has a broken foot?

  14. Wow. 26 comments in and no negative suckhole whiners. Congratulations, daytime DJF commenters!

    Lets go for the sweep!

  15. It’s not like the Jays are alone in having division leads fall, or major players getting injured. San Fran, Atlanta, Milwaukee were comforably ahead, and are now being pressed or trailing. St. Louis and Cincinnati just got hideous injury news.

    Baseball is freakin’ hard. You rarely coast pole to pole. We’re in a trough, but things are gonna get better. I’m feelin’ optimistic again. At the trade deadline, we get three solid players in Lawrie, Edwin and Lind back. In the meantime, the REIMHOLD era, capably assisted by DAN JOHNSON, helps us take two out of three in Tampa. YEAH!

    • I’m buying what you’re selling

    • Bang on. While I hate the Yankees, the Tanaka injury is brutal. It’s hard not to give that team a bit of respect given the injuries to their rotation.

      • And they don’t have the prospects for a price or Hamels type pitcher
        Their rotation is one old good pitcher
        One above average underrated guy and three shitballers

  16. Dan Johnson may just be our left-handed Steve Pearce. Optimism! Hey-yo!

  17. We can’t lose, look at all the (Stoeten approved) reasons why:

    Johnson back against his former team – Extra Incentive!
    Johnson gets RBI’s!
    He’s clutch, see homer on last game to create play-in game.
    He’s a Vetrun.
    He’s gritty.
    He’s funny and this will help the chemistry.

    Haha…. craziness.

    No but seriously, all of that.

    Back me up Radar.

  18. I’m all in.

  19. not that it really matters,
    but how fuckin nice would rajai davis fit into our lineup right now

  20. I’ve really dreaded watching games through the last 20 games or so, but I’m still pretty optimistic about the season! If you told me the Jays would be 3 games back at the All-star break in April I would have taken it as good news.

    Lots of baseball left to turn it around. Let’s start with beating these awful Rays though.

  21. so,
    Arizona has to fold it up pretty quick dont they?
    what would they want for Trumbo?

  22. “Going full pumpkin.” — Consider that officially stolen for personal use. Love it!

  23. I hate archer. Wear your fucking cap straight! This is baseball not a rap video

  24. And where is buck. This announcer is shit

  25. Hope Buerhle is on tonite. It looked like our hiteers were snoozing agin in the top of the 1st

  26. Well, Buerhle better buckle down here FFS, Who the fuk is coverung first!

  27. Game over after 1 inning fuck

  28. How come Tampa cannot score on anyone else and they sting us right away?
    Could be because we don’t execute fundamentals all that well. At worst, s/n be two out and a guy on 2nd

  29. Looks like vintage Rays baseball tonight.

  30. I’m bewildered lol

  31. I’ll take being 1 down after that

  32. Man we needed that dp. It may take us the whole game to get that run back with this fukin offense. Our MLBers did zippo, now we have to hope the Buffalo guys can get it goin

  33. Their offense was alive the past 2 games so that’s a plus

  34. Over/under on strikeout for Archer ar 15 tonite

  35. Archers a cocky fuck. How good would a ball right back at him look

  36. Over/under on attendance down there set at 9,500

  37. Oh I’m totally taking the under

  38. Better bear down,Mark. We can’t afford any more runs-geezuz

  39. Woo hoo-hit. attaboy Colby thta’s a start

  40. Remember when Rasmus said he was gonna run more this year? when, exactly ,does it kick in?

  41. Can Phat boy bunt?
    Didn’t think so

  42. Phat juan is going to learn to like Buffalo. Why the fuk couldn;t ne bunt? He hits like a pitcher now FFS

  43. If he had of got the runners over, we score. Fundamentals

  44. Good job, Kawa!

  45. Ok, Fuk it, Until we get some interaction going, I’m going to the store

  46. I think archers tipping his pitches. Watch his glove as he comes set. He flexes the glove when it’s a fastball

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