Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Toronto Blue Jays have demoted 1B/DH Adam Lind to AAA Las Vegas, and have recalled Yan Gomes from Las Vegas. Lind has struggled terribly this year, and many (myself included) believed that last week’s signing of Vladimir Guerrero was a sign that Toronto was getting disgusted with Lind’s lack of production this year.
To call Lind’s performance since his breakout 2009 season “awful” is perhaps an understatement. From 2010 to 2012, Lind has been worth a total of -1.0 fWAR, and hasn’t posted an on-base percentage above .300. Lind’s power has been fine, cracking 52 homers over the last three years, but has just three this year, along with a .587 OPS. Lind is making $5.15 million this season, and is scheduled to make the same next year in the final year of a four year extension signed at the beginning of the 2010 season. He also has club options for the 2014 to 2016 season that don’t look like a good bet to be picked up right now.
Gomes isn’t a very interesting looking bat for the Blue Jays, posting a .956 OPS this season in Las Vegas. Last season in AA New Hampshire, Gomes had a .781 OPS in 79 games, homering 13 times. I don’t really see him as much of a long-term answer for the Jays, though.
With the demotion of Lind, Toronto is now lacking a first baseman. They could play Gomes every day there and see if they have anything, but I highly doubt they’ll continue to play him once Guerrero gets into playing shape. The rational move there is to move Guerrero to the DH spot, and shift DH Edwin Encarnacion, who is absolutely obliterating the ball this year, to first base while Lind attempts to get his hitting stroke back. Toronto also has a pair of more interesting prospects in catcher Travis d’Arnaud and outfielder Travis Snider, both of whom could probably hit in the majors better than Lind at this point in time. While neither is a first baseman, it wouldn’t hurt the Jays to shift Encarnacion to first and let either of those two DH for a little bit.
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