Lind worries disappear
By KEN FIDLIN, QMI Agency
|Toronto Blue Jays Adam Lind reaches for the ball during the 1st inning against the New York Yankees at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Friday July 15, 2011. (ERNEST DOROSZUK/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - One of the urgent off-season issues for the Jays last winter involved how well Adam Lind would adapt to playing first base on a regular basis. It was an especially thorny issue because the few games he had played there down the stretch in 2010 were ... well, not pretty.
Now, nearly five months removed from the start of spring training, you can deposit all those concerns in the “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” file.
The Jays were hopeful Lind would be close to major-league average as a fielder in 2011. He has surpassed those modest expectations, having made just four errors.
The greatest compliment to Lind’s progress is that nobody ever mentions the issue any more.
“Anytime players go unnoticed, they’re usually doing a good job and he’s done a very good job defensively at first, whether it’s taking a throw up the line with a simultaneous tag, diving to the line to make a catch of a sinking line drive or picking balls out of the dirt,” said manager John Farrell. “He has exceeded our expectations, defensively, coming out of spring training.”
Lind’s infield tutor, coach Brian Butterfield believes Lind could become a better than average first baseman.
“He has tremendous aptitude,” said Butterfield. “You talk about doing something and he’s able to apply it right away. That’s one of the things that will allow him to advance and keep getting better.”
A lot of people are freaked out by Toronto’s blown-save total, which currently stands at 17. Yes, that number is high, but not ridiculously above the MLB-average of 13. The Blue Jays currently stand tied for fourth in most saves blown, behind Washington (21), Houston (19), St. Louis (19) and tied with the Los Angeles Angels (17).
The Los Angeles Dodgers (5), who sit second behind Philadelphia (3) in fewest blown saves, are currently 11 games under .500 so it’s not necessarily clear how relevant the stat is to winning and losing.
Courtesy of stats maven Bill Chuck, here is the definition of a .500 ballclub:
“This season, the Blue Jays have been 5-5, 6-6, 7-7, 13-13, 20-20, 21-21, 22-22, 23-23, 24-24, 26-26, 28-28, 29-29, 30-30, 32-32, 34-34, 35-35, 36-36, 39-39, 47-47, 49-49, 50-50, and today they are 51-51 and 15-15 in their last 30 games.”