According to the team’s official Twitter feed, the Toronto Blue Jays have optioned first baseman Adam Lind to Las Vegas and selected the contract of Yan Gomes. That the Blue Jays would consider demoting Lind isn’t nearly as surprising as the fact that he had options remaining.
In most people’s minds, Adam Lind is thought of as a good player who had a very bad season, which was followed by another very bad season. However, it’s just as likely that Adam Lind is a very bad player who had one good season and then returned to his true talent level. I would say that the most accurate two sentence long summary analysis of Lind would go something like this:
Lind is a good baseball player with a couple of glaring holes, most notably against left handed pitching and breaking balls. He simply hasn’t adjusted from those holes being figured out by the opposition.
How badly have things turned out since opponents started giving him fewer fastballs to hit?
Well, not to kick a guy while he’s down (on the farm), but here’s a smattering of admittedly cherry picked statistics:
- Since 2009, so including his fantastic season, Lind has been worth 22.8 batting runs above average. Over that same time, his teammate Edwin Encarnacion has been worth 26.0.
- Last year, out of all regular first basemen, only Aubrey Huff and Mitch Moreland provided their teams with less offensive production than Lind.
- In 2010, Lind, as a designated hitter, provided the least offensive production of any player at that position. The next closest DH had nine runs above average more than Lind.
- By contrast, in 2010, Luke Scott provided almost 3 entire WAR in offense alone over Lind.
- Lind ranked dead last among regular first basemen in most offensive categories vs. LHP last season. That’s not really a surprise, but even vs. RHP, Lind ranked 20th in wOBA.
- And here’s the real kicker: Since his good season in 2009, Lind has provided less offensive contribution than Lyle Overbay … with the former Blue Jays first baseman providing more than 10 runs above average in production over Lind.
This is a list of first basemen ranked by runs above average since 2010:
Ugh. In other words, by offense alone, Joey Votto has been worth more than ten wins above replacement over Adam Lind over the last two years and a bit.
Not to be forgotten in the transaction analysis is the promotion of Yan Gomes. Gomes, who was positively raking at Triple A, could become the first Brazilian born player to make an appearance at the Major League level, is primarily a catcher, who can play first or third base. However, it’s expected that Encarnacion will play first base in Lind’s absence.
It appears that we may be nearing the end of the rope that has been extended to Lind. Interestingly enough, that end came when Lind was 40 something days away from racking up enough service time to be able to refuse an optional assignment to the Minor Leagues.