Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Quintessential Adam Lind At Bat from 2011


By
Pitch F/X courtesy of Brooks Baseball
It's no secret that Adam Lind has battled demons this season both on and off the field. Whether it was in the form of injuries, the transition to first base, or in the form of becoming a new dad, Lind has been a little distracted on the field ... and it has shown.

Quickly glancing at the Pitch F/X above, it might not look so bad. However, if you click on the image and look right at Lind's ankles, you'll see the pitch placement of where Adam Lind swung and missed. It's not pretty.

I've seen golf swings by my brother that were better looking than Lind's hack on strike three, and my brother has played golf all of about three times in his entire life. At least he swings in the general vicinity of the ball.

Had Lind just stood there and not swung, the ball likely either would've hit him or skipped all the way to the backstop and probably scored the game-tying run from third base. Instead, Adam Lind swung at a pitch ankle-height and inside which ended the game.

For those masochists out there who are looking to dig a little deeper, check out it from the MLB GameDay angle. I think this one actually makes it look a little worse.

That at bat in the top of the ninth against Sergio Santos basically encapsulated Adam Lind's entire season; he's had ample opportunities hitting cleanup, but failed to capitalize on most of them.

Perhaps I'm being a little harsh on a guy who just witnessed the birth of his first child. But this was not an isolated incident, it was a pattern that presented itself for the better part of the entire season. What I'm saying is Adam Lind was basically masquerading as a cleanup hitter in 2011.

While part of the blame lies on the player, I would also say John Farrell should shoulder a brunt of the blame as well. Why did Farrell continue to run Lind out there in the number four spot when he was clearly struggling?

It hearkened back to CitoCity in 2009 when the manager paraded Alex Rios and Vernon Wells in the 3 and 4 spots night after night, and didn't make a change until a third of the way through the season. I think some of the onus lies on the manager as well.

In the grand scheme of things, this was really just one at bat and one bad pitch that Adam Lind swung at. I fully admit to making a mountain out of a molehill here, but these were the kind of games the Blue Jays need to win if they want to make the playoffs.

And as the Red Sox and Rays can surely attest to, every single game counts. You can't just give away wins because they will come back to haunt you later, and the Blue Jays need to capitalize on opportunities such as the one last night in Chicago.

Unfortunately, when the game is on the line, I just don't trust Adam Lind anymore. When I turned to Sportsnet and saw the bases loaded with Adam Lind at the plate, my mind foreshadowed what was about to happen; a strikeout.

I sincerely hope that Adam Lind can clear his head in the offseason and recharge his batteries in the offseason and do whatever he needs to do to come back in 2012 as a refreshed player.

I wouldn't expect Lind to return to his 2009 self, but something a little better than his 2010 and 2011 incarnation would a nice compromise.

2 comments:

  1. At this point i think the jays should be done giving Lind regular ABs against lefties. He has had one year where he was decent against left handed pitching (2009 .335wOBA).

    Every year we see the yankees and rays use platoons to their advantage. having a player who puts up a 360 wOBA against righties (Adam lind) is fine when you have a player who can complement him with a guy who can hit lefties well (Edwin Encarnacion is a carrer .365 wOBA against LH).

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  2. Jerkstore, their thing is Lind's splits aren't that dissimilar (.253 vs RHP, .250 vs LHP), but his career splits are very apparent (.283 vs RHP, .224 vs LHP).

    I actually think a platoon of Lind/EE could definitely work at 1B, the question is does John Farrell have the stones to pull it off?

    I'm afraid that AA might've given the talk to Adam Lind saying something to the effect of "you're our guy, no matter what" - which would throw a wrench into the platoon plans. But for the best of the team, I think they should at least explore the idea.

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