It’s got to stop sometime, right? I mean, is this actually happening?
Forget the career revival as a relevant major leaguer — is Adam Lind really in the midst a career year for the Toronto Blue Jays?
That’s the question that all of his doubters (that’d probably be most Blue Jays fans) have had to think about over the last three years, and while it’s certainly the case that there are 1500-plus plate appearances through that span that’s dwarfing the 148 PA he had since May of 2013 with an emphatic, sample-size enforced ‘nope’ … well, the first baseman/DH sure is being pretty convincing with the smaller sample, isn’t he?
So the lines are drawn if you’re a Blue Jays fan: either you’re a believer, or you’re not.
And for now, it’s the former group that’s been getting all of the ammunition to feel positive about. Not only has Lind continued his .346/.409/.590 performance from May, he’s actually stepped it up a notch in June, hitting in all but two of his 13 games, with eight of those being of the multi-hit variety.
Still not convinced? Just ask the Texas Rangers, who were absolutely terrorized by the 29-year old as he went 7-for-13 with a pair of homers over the final three games of the series sweep.
Sunday’s 3-for-5 performance now gives Lind a .439/.450/.710 triple-slash in June to go along with four homers for the month … enough to force the Blue Jays into giving him a start against a good lefty in Derek Holland. With the way that he’s seeing everything like a beach ball, though, not even his dreaded career splits are stopping him from getting his bat in the lineup.
Oh, and by the way, he’s been the most and second-most valuable player in the league at DH and first respectively over the last month (1.3 fWAR). No big deal.
So we’ve established that Lind was be really, uncharacteristically good over the last couple of months; but of course, he’ll have his work cut out for him to maintain this torrid pace. If you happen to be a non-believer, there’s plenty to be working with here, most of all is the fact that he has a .512 BABIP in June, which is pretty silly even if his line drive rate is at an astounding 37.8 percent for the month.
On the same note, there’s really not a whole lot of reason to expect that his 28.6 HR/FB rate will keep up in any shape or form (lest the Blue Jays have somehow swapped him with Adam Dunn), and his BB/K has looked like this over the three months: 2.00, 0.53, 0.15 — not the most comfortable underlying trend.
Now, granted that there’s really very little reason for Lind not to swing when more than 50 percent of his balls in play are turning into hit this month, but what happens when that doesn’t happen anymore?
Does the walk rate spike back up? When when line drives stop being line drives, well he still be able to go back and force pitches to throw him something he can hit?
Those are adjustments which he will have to make once the getting isn’t getting so good, but at this rate, even the most hardened doubters who have been burned again and again by this Blue Jays vet would have a hard time not enjoying the ride.