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MLB Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Blue Jays 2012 Expectations Revisited: Adam Lind

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Before the start of the 2012 MLB season, I put together a series of performance “forecasts” for the projected starters for the Toronto Blue Jays. Now, with the long season well behind the team, here’s a look back at how the players did compared to my projections – which is another way of saying let’s see how much I messed them up. Today, I’ll try my hardest to say a few nice things about Adam Lind‘s ’12 season…and likely fail.

Failure in the baseball world is something that Adam Lind has had trouble eluding over the last couple of seasons, but you could argue that the Toronto Blue Jays first baseman hit a new low in ’12. How else would you describe the first baseman’s ice-cold start to the season (.639 OPS in April) that turned even further south in May (.140 AVG, .492 OPS – second-worst single month in last three years), which subsequently saw the two-years-removed All-Star DH sent down to the minors?

There was no otherworldly hot streak to salvage his season upon his return to the majors, either. Unlike the month-long stretch that saw Lind put up  a 1.029 OPS in June of ’11 after returning from injury, there was nothing particular head-turning about Lind’s return from the minors this past season.

Or was there?

Here’s the thing: though any chance of Lind establishing enough momentum to put together a sustained streak in the second half was derailed by yet another injury, the fact is that when you put the two halves of his season (neatly divided with 160 AB pre-AS, and 161 AB post) together, Lind did show significant improvement on his offensive numbers.

His .304/.343/.441 triple slash in the latter half of the season wasn’t spectacular, but it was playable; in fact, it puts him in the middle of the pack of first baseman in the league during that period, among names like Paul Goldschmidt, Brandon Belt, and Paul Konerko.

Not so shabby, right?

It wouldn’t be, if you could reasonably extrapolate that kind of performance from over a full season, which would assume that he could hit against LHP – which Lind simply can’t do (.553 OPS vs. lefties in ’12). Put that together with his slow start, and what we have – once again – is a season that puts Lind near the very bottom of the pack of major-league first basemen. Was it entirely unforeseen? Nah:

My 2012 forecast600 PA, .260/.320/.445, 26 HR
Lind in 2012: 353 PA, .255/.314/.414, 11 HR

Okay, so I’ve probably got to learn to be more conservative with the PA projections, but the rest wasn’t too far off, I think. Still, I already thought I was being fairly down on Lind being able to put up a north-of-.750 OPS that would make him passable at 1B or DH, but even that turned out to be overly optimistic.

Maybe – just maybe – if ’10 and ’11 didn’t happen, we could see what he did post-break as a positive, or a hint to a return to form; but, I think we’ve all been burned enough. Despite Lind’s considerably-improved 2nd half of ’12, his overall numbers simply don’t stack up favourably at his position, even if mediocrity is the target.

So yes, unfortunately, we’re back to talking about failures.