04/26/08 6:46 PM ET
Lind to take over as starting left fielder
Stairs, Stewart to split time at designated hitter
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
Such was the case on Saturday night, and generally the way it will be for the foreseeable future, according to manager John Gibbons.
"Lind's here to play," Gibbons said after the Blue Jays brought up the hot-hitting Lind from Triple-A Syracuse.
To make room on the roster, the Jays optioned infielder Joe Inglett to Syracuse. Gibbons' plan is for Lind to play regularly in left, with Matt Stairs and Shannon Stewart splitting time at designated hitter. Over the past two days, the Jays have added third baseman Scott Rolen and Lind to their everyday lineup, which they hope will help jumpstart an offense which hasn't been clicking on all cylinders.
Lind hit 11 homers in 89 games for Toronto last year, the most for a Jays rookie since 2002. He hit .356 with 15 RBIs and a .423 on-base percentage through the first 17 games for Syracuse this year.
Lind batted in the No. 8 slot in Saturday's game against the Royals.
"He's got some pop," Gibbons said. "You wouldn't classify him as a home run hitter, but he has power to all fields and a nice, true swing."
Lind didn't allow himself to be sidetracked by thoughts about a possible callup during the early weeks of the season.
"You can build yourself up for a letdown," Lind said. "I just continued to do my work down there and kept plugging away."
Upon arriving in Kansas City, Lind got word from the manager that he is targeted for regular duty.
"Anytime the manager gives you that insight, it's a pretty big deal," Lind said.
Lind might have been called up earlier, but he suffered a stiff neck last week while sleeping in a motel room.
"I couldn't move my head," Lind said. "That set me back about four days."
With his neck no longer an issue, Lind just wants to contribute to a Toronto team which is looking to battle through recent adversity.
"There's a lot of great talent around here," Lind said. "I look for this club to turn it around."
Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.