Notes: Lind destined for Minors in '08
Prospect to see everday action in anticipation of '09 job
TORONTO -- If Adam Lind suits up for the Blue Jays next season, it'll probably be because something went wrong at the big league level.
That's not a knock on Lind. It's simply a testament to the fact that Toronto doesn't want to rush one of its top prospects back to the Majors. Lind has already made it to The Show a few times, but the Jays want to make sure he's ready for a regular role as soon as 2009.
The club re-signed veteran outfielder Matt Stairs this offseason and the team plans on offering a contract to left fielder Reed Johnson, meaning Lind would face a very limited role if he began the season with the Jays. Toronto would prefer to have Lind playing regularly in the Minors to further his development.
"He has come through the system fast," Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said recently. "This allows him to play the whole year at Triple-A. If something happens in the way of an injury, we've got him to play. If not, he'll probably be scheduled to play as an everyday guy in '09."
It's virtually the same plan that the Jays intended for Lind in 2007, but Johnson suffered a serious back injury in April, forcing the 24-year-old prospect to the Majors. Lind appeared in 89 games while Johnson was sidelined, and the young outfielder struggled for the first time in his professional career.
Lind, who owns a .316 batting average over four seasons in the Minors, hit at a .238 clip in his stint with the Jays. The left-handed-hitting Lind had a tendency to chase high fastballs out of the strike zone -- an issue he aimed to correct after being sent back to Triple-A upon Johnson's return in July.
"The good thing that happened to Lind was that he failed a little bit," Ricciardi said at the end of the season. "When he went down to Triple-A, he really worked on some of the things that he was having trouble with. He's made himself a better outfielder -- I give him a lot of credit on that."
Johnson, who is eligible for arbitration this offseason, is slated to be Toronto's starting left fielder and leadoff man next season. Ricciardi has made it clear that Lind is expected to be in the mix for a regular job two seasons from now, creating questions about Johnson's status with the club beyond 2008.
There are a handful of scenarios that could see Lind -- a third-round selection by the Jays in the 2004 First-Year Player Draft -- back with the Blue Jays next year, though. Any setbacks for Johnson, designated hitter Frank Thomas or first baseman Lyle Overbay would likely force Toronto to turn to Lind once again. Until then, the Jays are sticking to the plan.
"We like Lind," Ricciardi said. "We think Lind is going to be a very good offensive player and we think he's going to be our everyday outfielder at some point."
Dr. Cy: Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay didn't go entirely unnoticed for his efforts last season. On Tuesday, Halladay finished tied for fifth for the American League Cy Young Award, garnering one third-place vote from the Baseball Writers' Association of America. Halladay placed third in balloting for the same honor in 2006.
This year, Cleveland's C.C. Sabathia took home the Cy Young Award, which Halladay captured in '03. This past season, Halladay ranked first in the Majors with seven complete games, despite missing three weeks in May after undergoing an emergency appendectomy. His 16 wins were the fifth-highest in baseball and his 225 1/3 innings ranked third in the AL.
Purcey honored: On Monday, Jays pitching prospect David Purcey was named the Player of the Week for the Arizona Fall League. Last week, the 6-foot-5 left-hander went 1-1 with a 0.00 ERA, nine strikeouts and one walk over nine innings for the Scottsdale Scorpions.
Purcey's lone loss came courtesy of an unearned run on Saturday, when he fanned eight batters and surrendered just one hit over five frames. Purcey, who was selected in the first round by the Jays during the 2004 Draft, is 1-2 with a 1.23 ERA, 25 strikeouts, nine walks and 13 hits allowed in 22 innings over six starts.
Roster moves: The Jays cleaned up their 40-man roster on Tuesday, making a handful of moves. Toronto activated center fielder Vernon Wells, third baseman Troy Glaus, closer B.J. Ryan, left-hander Gustavo Chacin and lefty Davis Romero from the 60-day disabled list. The Jays also designated infielder Hector Luna for assignment, giving the club 10 days to trade, release or reassign the utility man.
Parting ways: On Monday, the Blue Jays released 27-year-old outfielder John-Ford Griffin, who has spent the past five years in Toronto's farm system. Last season, Griffin hit .252 with 26 homers and 83 RBIs with Triple-A Syracuse, where he played the past three seasons. In stints with the Jays in 2005 and '07, Griffin hit .304 with two homers in 13 games.
Talent show: In "The Bill James Handbook 2008," the renowned baseball analyst ranks the Blue Jays 10th overall in the Majors in terms of young talent. James defined "young talent" as all players younger than 29 years old in '07, and he used runs created and runs allowed for statistical comparison.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.