04/14/07 2:55 PM ET
Notes: Answering the call up -- finally
Tired Lind eventually picks up phone, joins Jays on Saturday
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
The Syracuse Chiefs, Toronto's Triple-A affiliate, had played a doubleheader Thursday and the players were catching up on some much-needed rest on the team's off-day. When the phone in Lind's room started to ring, his roommate, infielder Ryan Roberts, hung up immediately -- not wanting to be bothered by whoever was calling that early.
"We had a long night the night before and I was sleeping," Lind said, laughing. "The phone rang like four or fives times, and I didn't pick up. I just didn't hear it."
Finally, Lind woke up to a handful of missed calls and decided to call Syracuse manager Doug Davis to find out what was going on. Good thing, too, because Lind needed to catch a flight to Toronto -- not back to Syracuse.
On Friday, the Blue Jays placed left fielder Reed Johnson on the 15-day disabled list with a herniated disc in his lower back. So Toronto called up Lind, its top outfield prospect, to take over the full-time duties in left field.
"I know how important he is to this team," Lind said. "I'm sure it hurts the lineup greatly, but now I have to try and replace what Reed does -- well, not replace, but do what I can do. If everything goes well and he comes back, then he'll take back over."
Lind, who was drafted by Toronto in the third round of the First-Year Player Draft in 2004, has advanced quickly up the organizational ladder. Last season, he hit .310 with 19 home runs and 71 RBIs in 91 games with Double-A New Hampshire before being promoted to Syracuse, where he posted a .394 average in 18 games.
The 23-year-old outfielder carried that success into the Majors, where he joined the Blue Jays for 18 games in September. He hit .367 with two homers, eight doubles and eight RBIs. This year, Lind was hitting .306 through eight games with the Chiefs.
"He's going to play," said Toronto manager John Gibbons, who started Lind in left field against Detroit on Saturday. "[Johnson] is a big loss, but it's helpful that Lind has a September under his belt. So it's not his debut. The kid can hit. He can flat-out hit."
Heating up: When Alex Rios sent the first pitch he saw Friday night deep to left field for a solo home run, Toronto's right fielder was able to let out a sigh of relief.
Prior to that blast, Rios hadn't homered in his first 39 at-bats of the season. Last year, Rios had tallied five long balls in his first 38 trips to the plate. The 26-year-old outfielder admitted that his slight power outage to begin this year was on his mind.
"Now, I don't have to think about it. I can just go out there and hit," Rios said. "I had it in the back of my mind. Now, I got the monkey off my shoulders."
In his first at-bat Saturday, Rios roped a single into center field to extend his season-opening hitting streak to 11 games. He's the only Blue Jays hitter to record at least one hit in every game so far this season. Rios is also one game shy of matching Vernon Wells' club record for the longest hitting streak to start a year, established in 2006.
"I'm feeling pretty good right now. I'm seeing the ball well," Rios said. "No matter what I do, I just want to hit the ball hard and have good at-bats. I'm getting four or five at-bats in a game now, so that puts you in a rhythm."
Glaus update: Gibbons said that third baseman Troy Glaus, who has a tight hamstring and a bone spur in his left heel, will continue to rest for the remainder of the weekend series against the Tigers.
Toronto will wait until after the off-day on Monday to see if Glaus' legs feel better in time for Tuesday's game against Boston. If Glaus isn't available for the three-game series against the Red Sox, the Jays may consider placing him on the 15-day DL.
"I've got to believe he'll be ready by Tuesday, but I don't know that for a fact," Gibbons said.
Johnson update: Johnson flew to Florida on Saturday to visit a spine specialist, who will try to determine the next step in the outfielder's recovery process. The Blue Jays aren't sure how much time their leadoff hitter might miss with the injury.
Second nature: On Saturday, Lind was slotted into the No. 2 spot in the batting order. Gibbons said that Lind, who bats left-handed, will probably continue to bat second against right-handers. Toronto's manager added that second baseman Aaron Hill, who hits from the right side, could see time in the second spot against lefties.
Did you know? Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay had no walks during his 10-inning performance against the Tigers on Friday. The last time an American League pitcher worked more than nine innings without issuing a free pass was on Sept. 21, 1997, when Twins starter Brad Radke accomplished the feat.
Coming up: Toronto right-hander Josh Towers (0-1, 4.76 ERA) is scheduled to take the mound when the Blue Jays host the Tigers in the finale of a four-game set at 1:07 p.m. ET on Sunday at Rogers Centre. Detroit will counter with left-hander Nate Robertson (2-0, 1.38 ERA).
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.