Feb 24, 2013; Dunedin, FL, USA; Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Adam Lind (26) against the Baltimore Orioles during a spring training game at Florida Auto Exchange Park. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsThe Toronto Blue Jays have all their regulars in the lineup against the Houston Astros today.
I know it’s just Spring Training and that I usually laugh at people who take Spring Training stuff seriously especially in the first week. You really have to be a baseball rookie to do that.
Still when I see Adam Lind hitting 5th in the lineup I panic.
Spring Training or not, anything resembling a big league regular season lineup, let alone the Jays 2013 lineup, should not have Lind hitting 5th.
Now there’s no excuse for that.
We know the Jays lineup is going to start Reyes, Melky, Bautista, and Encarnacion. Every other hitter in the Jays lineup is more qualified than Adam Lind to hit 5th.
Brett Lawrie would probably be the best choice to hit 5th. In Brett Lawrie’s small 168 career games he’s already hit 20 homers and put up a 5.6 WAR. He’ll be just 23 on opening day so it’s a safe bet Lawrie won’t be worse even if he’s not better. Lawrie also gives the Jays speed on the bases in the middle of the order.
If the Blue Jays want a left handed hitter with some power hitting 5th they can hit Colby Rasmus there. In the last 3 seasons Rasmus has been better than Lind and has 60 homeruns. He also has some speed.
Emilio Bonifacio has a career 333 on base percentage. He’s stolen SEVENTY out of 84 bases in just the last 2 seasons. That’s also with injuries and a lack of playing time coming in his way.
J.P. Arencibia’s 278 on base percentage in the last 2 seasons isn’t pretty but his 18 home runs in 2012 and 23 homeruns in 2011 are. JP doesn’t do much besides hit home runs but at 27 years old he’s more likely than Lind to be consistent with his power. JP has put up a 2.1 WAR the last 2 seasons.
Maicer Izturis has put up a 2.9 WAR the last 2 seasons. He also has some speed.
Adam Lind has played in 368 games the last 3 years and has hasn’t put up 1 WAR. He’s lucky to still be a starter on a big league lineup. He’s not the guy who should be hitting 5th when there are better options below him in the lineup. Especially for a team that’s trying to go to the playoffs.