Blue Jays bring Lind back from Las Vegas
Francisco returns from DL; Cooper, McCoy optioned to Triple-A
MIAMI -- Adam Lind will get his shot at redemption when the Blue Jays open a three-game series in Boston on Monday night.
Following a 9-0 loss to the Marlins on Sunday afternoon, Toronto selected the contract of Lind from Triple-A Las Vegas and activated Ben Francisco off the 15-day disabled list.
In corresponding moves, Mike McCoy and David Cooper were optioned to Las Vegas, while right-hander Sergio Santos was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Lind.
"I don't know ultimately what we're going to get when he comes back, but I know that everyone who has seen him play, and the staff around him, feels like he's ready to come back," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said of Lind. "If I knew for certain he was going to find it, I would say, 'Hey, we're ready, we know what he's going to do.' But he's definitely earned his way back here.
"He has performed very well, and everyone that has seen him feels he deserves a shot to come back. So, we'll see how he does."
Lind began the season as the Blue Jays' cleanup hitter, but he eventually lost his starting job after a poor start to the year. The 28-year-old managed to hit just .186 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 34 games.
Those poor numbers resulted in a demotion to Las Vegas, where he appeared to turned things around. Lind managed to hit .392 with eight home runs and 29 RBIs while appearing in 32 games in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League.
The Blue Jays criticized Lind's level of fitness earlier in the year, and also indicated that he became a little too passive at the plate. It's too early to know whether the adjustments will result in improved results at the big league level, but Toronto remains optimistic.
"The way he has been swinging in Las Vegas, he has gone down and done exactly what we had hoped to do and that's get into a positive frame of mind," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "He has gotten much better rhythm to his overall approach and swing. We're getting him back here to insert him into the lineup."
Francisco, who had been out since May 21 with a tear in his left hamstring, will serve as the club's fourth outfielder, and he is expected to see some playing time against left-handed pitching.
The 30-year-old hit .188 with one RBI and two doubles during eight rehab games with Double-A New Hampshire.
"We've got the ability to DH Francisco against some left-handers with Eddie [Edwin Encarnacion] at first," Farrell said. "Then with right-handers, Lindy at first or Eddie at first with Lind's ability to DH, as well. But we wanted to get the additional left-handed bat."
Cooper got off to a hot start with the Blue Jays, but eventually began to cool off. He departs with a .292 average and five extra-base hits in 23 games. McCoy appeared in just eight games while posting a .375 average.
Mathis could become Cecil's personal catcher
MIAMI -- Veteran catcher Jeff Mathis is expected to be inserted into the lineup whenever Blue Jays left-hander Brett Cecil is on the mound.
Manager John Farrell has often made decisions on when to use Mathis based on the team's schedule. Mathis would usually make an appearance in a day game following a night game or after a long travel schedule, but that could change in the near future.
It has only been two starts, but Farrell likes what he has seen when Mathis and Cecil are paired together.
"I think the fact that he and Brett have worked well together for two times in a row here, that might be something we look to pair going forward," Farrell said. "But regardless of who Jeff has caught, he has done an outstanding job behind the plate, which is no surprise.
"He has a long history and a long track record of being a very good game caller, a good defensive catcher, and he can handle the bat inside of certain situations."
Mathis might see an increased workload when Cecil's on the mound, but there is no catching controversy in Toronto. J.P. Arencibia is firmly entrenched as the catcher who will see the vast majority of action behind the plate.
"When J.P.'s in one of those stretches like the month of May, he was a force in our lineup, as well," Farrell said of Arencibia, who hit .279 with eight homers and 19 RBIs in May. "It's a balance to get the strengths and contributions of both."
In 17 games since moving into the leadoff spot, Brett Lawrie was hitting .314 (22-for-70) with five doubles, one triple, three homers and a .970 OPS entering Sunday.
Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion entered play on Sunday having combined to hit 44 home runs this season, which was the most by any duo in the Major Leagues. Chicago's Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn sat in second place with 36. It marks the first time since 2006 that two Toronto players have hit 20-plus homers each prior to July 1. Vernon Wells (20) and Troy Glaus (21) accomplished the feat during that 2006 campaign.