Adam Lind and Ben Francisco are Toronto Bound

By Charles Davis

It appears that a brief stint with the AAA Las Vegas 51s has convinced the Toronto Blue Jays that Adam Lind is prepared for a return to the big club. Lind, who was DHing today, was lifted from the 51s’ lineup after just one appearance at the plate in favour of fellow demotee Eric Thames.

After beginning the year posting a slash line of .186/.273/.314 in 132 plate appearances, Lind was sent down to the Blue Jays’ AAA affiliate in hopes that he might regain his confidence and plate discipline. Since the demotion, Lind has hit .395/.451/.669 for the 51s, not including his brief appearance this afternoon, in the sometimes statistically misleading Pacific Coast League.

Las Vegas, in particular, houses one of the most hitter-friendly parks in baseball. Of marked concern is that Lind hit 7 of his 8 minor league home runs in the friendly confines of Cashman Field in Sin City. Thus the move comes amidst skepticism that Lind’s rebound may be more a product of his environment than a product of true improvement.

Adam Lind’s recent major league resume suggests that this minor league stretch is a PCL anomaly, as he’s failed to post an OBP above .295 since 2009. However, Toronto GM Alex Anthopoulos suggests that Lind has regained his confidence and is ready to return to the form that earned him a Silver Slugger award in 2009.

In a separate move, the Blue Jays have activated Ben Francisco from the 15-day disabled list to serve as the 4th outfielder. Francisco has hit just .188/.257/.250 in his 8-game stint with the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats, and it would appear that his call-up is a byproduct of the recent hot play of Rajai Davis. It is unlikely that the Blue Jays would bring up Travis Snider without having a spot to play him every day. Gregor Chisholm of reports that Anthopoulos has indicated that Francisco may see some at-bats at the DH spot in the near future. Either Anthopoulos has lost his mind, or he’s making a last ditch effort to squeeze some trade value, as minimal as it would be, out of the outfielder. My money is on the latter.

Giving Francisco at-bats seems like more of a showcasing move than anything at this point. Francisco has provided little value to the club thus far, as they have been reluctant to allow him to play the field, and the Jays might be better suited to clear up some room for Travis Snider, who has been asserting his dominance over AAA pitching.

In order to make room for Francisco and Lind, Mike McCoy and David Cooper were optioned to AAA Las Vegas. Sergio Santos was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Lind on the 40-man roster.

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