TORONTO - Adam Lind tripled, singled, walked and struck out in four extended spring training at-bats Monday, taking another step toward a return to the Blue Jay lineup.
Sidelined for 22 days by a sore lower back, Lind is working toward rejoining the Jays for their next road trip to Baltimore and Kansas City starting Monday.
“He’s likely to go through a similar extended game (Tuesday),” said manager John Farrell. “Provided there’s still the same progression that we’re seeing, we’ll then get him at-bats with Dunedin in the Florida State League.
“We’d like to get him between 15 and 20 at-bats. With cautious optimism, he’ll return when we go into Baltimore (June 3).”
Who’s on first?
In Lind’s absence, Juan Rivera has blossomed at first base and he’s been able to turn that enthusiasm in the field into a hot streak at the plate.
Rivera will continue to get starts at first base until Lind is fully recovered enough to play every day at first.
Rivera went into Monday’s game hitting .386 (17-44) with seven doubles and two home runs in 11 games at first base. In 35 games at other positions, Rivera is hitting .203 (26-for-128) with two doubles and two homers.
“It’s possible that this has energized him to the point where he’s getting a lot of good at-bats and is getting into the flow and rhythm of the game,” said Farrell.
Feud for thought
Farrell downplayed the verbal exchange between Chicago pitcher John Danks and Jose Bautista Sunday. Danks, losing 9-0, took offence to Bautista’s show of frustration when he popped-out in the fourth inning. They exchanged words.
“I don’t really make too much of those things,” said Farrell. “Guys react different ways in the heat of competition. It didn’t escalate into anything else so I think they shared their views to one another on the field and that’s it.”
Asked if, as a pitcher, he had ever been angered by a similar reaction by an opponent, Farrell offered a wry smile and said: “There were more hitters that raised their arms in jubilation rather than frustration."