Adam Lind pokes the beast by question Blue Jays decision-making process


It is one thing if fans and media openly question the Toronto Blue Jays and their decisions about the team. It is a whole other monster when team players openly question those moves, especially before the season is officially over.

That is exactly what Blue Jays first baseman/designated hitter Adam Lind did on multiple fronts Friday, via a report from National Post scribe John Lott. In Lott’s piece, Lind questions the decision to wait until May to promote rookie sensation Marcus Stroman rather than starting the season with him, he rips the decision to run Dustin McGowan out there as a placeholder, nods toward Colby Rasmus‘ benching when the team was still in the hunt, and even takes a small parting shot at hitting coach Kevin Seitzer.

Needless to say, Adam Lind didn’t leave any stone unturned in placing the blame fully on the Blue Jays front office and management for the team’s downfall. Thos are some pretty feisty words for a DH that is platooned against left-handed pitching and managed just 6 home runs and 40 RBI after averaging 25 and 88 respectively over the course of his career. None of which is going to endear himself to the team in a winter when they need to decide whether or not to exercise his $7.5 million option for 2015.

Well, given the results that McGowan put up in April as a starter, and the subsequent performance by Stroman after being added to the rotation, it is easy to second-guess the decision. McGowan posted a 5.08 ERA and allowed a .291/.371/.475 slash as a starter, but settled into a much more effective 3.35 ERA and .215/.284/.405 opposing slash as a reliever. Meanwhile, Stroman started the season in Buffalo after getting roughed up in Spring Training before being added and roughed up as a reliever. However, as a starter, Stroman has been a godsend for the Blue Jays, going 10-6 with a 3.29 ERA and a .242/.287/.323 opposing slash line in the Blue Jays rotation.

That lead Lind to question whether the team carried the best 25-man roster they could out of camp, saying in regards to Stroman-gate:

"“It was like McGowan just filled the void for six weeks. April’s a big feeler month for  a lot of teams, but why didn’t Marcus make the team out of camp? We all knew he was going to come anyway.”"

In between those thoughts on Stroman, Lind continued his evisceration of the Blue Jays decision process by saying, “then you look at what we did with the outfield in September”, alluding to the benching of Colby Rasmus in favor of a rotation involving Kevin Pillar, Anthony Gose, and Dalton Pompey in the outfield. That was a curious move in fans’ eyes as well, given the struggles the team had putting up runs. However, by the time that decision was made, the Blue Jays obviously felt that jumping four teams to win a wild card spot was unlikely.

Finally, when asked about his  lack of power this season, Lind owns some of it, but then mentions that the hitting philosophy of Kevin Seitzer, while paying dividends in his batting average and on-base percentage, likely sapped much of his power. That’s a familiar complaint of Seitzer’s coaching model, something that former manager Ned Yost with the Royals mentioned as a reason the team parted with Seitzer when he was with Kansas City. Seitzer’s up-the-middle model preaches contact and placement, but doesn’t seem to cater toward power hitters. However, we saw the positive influence of Seitzer while working with Brett Lawrie before the injuries and we’ve all noted the difference with Jose Bautista in beating the shift this season. It’s all about picking spots.

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However, picking spots doesn’t seem to be Lind’s strong suit here. He’s choosing a tough time to be calling out management with only 2 games left to play and the game’s longest playoff drought now fresh in the minds of fans, players, and the front office.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Blue Jays handle this over the next couple of days and in Lind’s talks with Anthopoulos about activating his option. I would personally love to be a fly on the wall for that conversation.