Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lind and Hill: Conjoined Slumping Twins


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Image courtesy of Toronto Star
True story: prior to the beginning of the season, I mailed a letter to both Adam Lind and Aaron Hill congratulating them on their phenomenal 2009 seasons, and asked that they sign the photo I had also sent along in the package.

To this day I still haven't received a response, but at this point in the season ... I'm not sure if I still want one.

It's a similar sentiment that's been flowing through the Blue Jays blogosphere as of late, and it begs the question: what on earth do you do with Adam Lind and Aaron Hill?

The Blue Jays find themselves in a similar position as last season with Alex Rios and Vernon Wells. Both players were expected to carry most of the offensive load in the lineup, but instead fizzled for the first 62 games of the season until Cito Gaston finally decided to shake things up.

After struggling through the first 72 games of the season, Cito finally pulled the ripcord on Aaron Hill and Adam Lind's free fall and sent them down in the lineup last Thursday. Since then though, not much has changed.

While having both Silver Sluggers in such dire straits is concerning, what really has me worried is what's wrong with Adam Lind. If it seems like he's striking out every other at bat, it's because Lind ranks second in the American League with 77 strikeouts.

You can almost picture the exact pitch sequence in your head: Lind swings at a pitch down and away from a left-handed pitcher to strikeout. Well, the scenario isn't all that far-fetched either because Lind is hitting an abysmal .108 against lefties this year.

With Aaron Hill, it's a little more forgivable because of his absurdly low BABIP at .183, you can tell he's hitting into a lot of bad luck plays. By no means does being "unlucky" excuse Hill completely from this slump, but it's a little easier to take knowing it's not entirely his fault.

Cito's already tried to light a fire under Adam Lind and Aaron Hill by shuffling them down in the lineup, and we're still waiting to see some positive side effects from that managerial decision.

In the meantime, here's the solution: dress Adam Lind and Aaron Hill in some hippie tie-die clothes and let them get their frustrations out by smashing some windows on Yonge Street.


7 comments:

  1. If you are referring the the bullshit that went down this weekend, in all fairness the people wearing tie die were very likely the peaceful protesters that wanted no violence. It was the douchebags in black (mostly from out of town) that cause the problems.

    Seriously, Bloc is spelled ending in a C... Hmmm where do they spell it like that?

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  2. I loved Jon Stewart's take on the Toronto stuff. Back in 2003, when I was in college and the Red Sox rallied to beat the Athletics, a bunch of people spilled out of the dorms and lit stuff on fire and rioted after the game. It was bizarre, yet oddly fun. (I was among the people running around and seeing what was going on.) Mobs are odd like that, so I can see how the Toronto / G20 people can get swept up in it all.

    As far as Lind goes, I think he has the tougher road back to productivity, because the production bar is higher as a corner outfielder, first baseman or designated hitter. While it's unusual that he would fall off the face of this Earth at this point in his career, unfortunately, it's not unprecedented.

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  3. Anon, you're right - I probably shouldn't have equated the peaceful protesters with the anarchists. You make a good point about the Bloc thing, too. I thought I heard there were protesters who came all the way from Montreal, but those were the peaceful ones I think.

    Steve, it probably also didn't help that the news was all over it like a moth to a flame. Somebody sets a cop car on fire in downtown Toronto and mass hysteria sets in.

    And that's the thing about Lind: 90 percent of the time, he's DH - so his struggles are magnified. If Hill is slumping and yet still playing well defensively, then it can be tolerated a little more

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  4. Too soon for G20 jokes. Kidding, but living here in Toronto was kind of surreal this weekend. Whenever I would walk my dogs I'd hear yelling and sirens and helicopters and I'd have an escape route worked out in advance. I still don't feel right. I just left a comment on a Jays blog and forgot to mention the Jays...

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  5. Mattt, I can only imagine what that was like to be living in Toronto and watch that go down in your own backyard.

    Just goes to show you that moving the Jays/Phils series out of town was probably the right call.

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  6. Did you seriously send them letters and photos to be autographed? Are you 8 years old? Just wondering. Nice blog if so. Otherwise... never mind.

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  7. Gareth, sadly ... yes. I'll do almost anything for a Blue Jays autograph, but it was all in the hopes they would send pictures back so I could hang them on my wall. It beats buying some shotty autographed photos on eBay.

    I'm not 8 years old, but I am known to read and write at an 8 year old level on occasion!

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