9/14/2013 3:50 P.M. ET
Lind reaches goal with 20th homer of season
By Evan Peaslee / MLB.com
TORONTO -- In Friday night's contest, Adam Lind reached a goal he had set for himself in the offseason when he hit his 20th home run of the season.
"It felt good. That's my goal every year is 20 home runs," Lind said. "If you do that, it's usually a solid year in terms of power numbers. It'll keep you in the big leagues if you continue to do that, so hopefully I can do it few more times in my career."
For the left-handed hitter, it's the fourth time in his career he's done it, as he continues to rebound a year after being outrighted to the Minor Leagues and removed from the 40-man roster.
But 2013 has been much kinder to Lind, who has hit at least 20 home runs for the fourth time in five seasons and has his third-best batting average of .279. He's also appeared in the most games since 2010, and has his second-best on-base percentage in his career (.349) that ranks fourth on the club behind the usual suspects of Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, and Jose Reyes.
Overall, it's been a season of redemption for Lind, but he's still not completely satisfied with his season. That has more to do with striving to be better than it does being disappointed in his results.
"That's how it is in any profession. If you're satisfied, you're probably retiring," Lind said. "If you ask anybody, they could have always done a little bit better. There's always RBIs out there that you never get in. Especially runner on third and less than two outs, it's always one of my big pet peeves. Make contact and get the runner in. If you just think about that situation, that's probably five or six RBIs that you didn't get."
For the 29-year-old, the timing of his return to hitting at a Major League level couldn't have come at a better time. The Blue Jays hold a $7 million dollar club option on the first baseman/designated hitter that if declined, would cost the club $2 million dollars for a buyout.
Thus Lind enters an offseason of uncertainty, something that he's not overly concerned with.
"I'm not real worried about it, because I'll have a job somewhere," Lind said. "[But] I think I showed that I'm an important part of this lineup. I hope they view it that way and retain me as a player. ... [All] I can do is play games, and that's almost over. Now it's up the front office."
Whether Lind's option is picked up or not is entirely in the hands of the front office, but at the very least, the Muncie, Ind., native believes he's put his best foot forward.
"I've hit in the heart of the order on an AL East team my whole career on one of the better run-scoring teams," Lind said. "I've been a part of some great offenses in this franchise, and hopefully the important people view in that way too."
No. 2 in lineup a 'good spot' for Lawrie
TORONTO -- Brett Lawrie batted second in the lineup in Saturday's game vs. the Orioles, and it's a spot in which he may find himself more frequently.
The athletic third baseman has hit up and down the lineup all season, but with his ability to hit for average with some speed on the basepaths and extra-base power, it may be the perfect spot for him.
"That two-hole might be a good spot for him," manager John Gibbons said. "Brett, looking down the road, can almost fill in anywhere. We think he's going to be a good hitter. We think he's going to hit for average, he's going to hit his share of home runs, drive in some runs, so he can really slot in anywhere. You like him up top because he's got some speed so he's not going to clog anything up, and he can make some things happen on the bases."
Lawrie started the season slowly thanks to a pair of injuries that caused him to miss significant time, but his numbers after the All-Star break reflect exactly what the Toronto skipper was talking about.
Lawrie is batting .291 with six home runs, 27 RBIs, 24 runs scored, and five stolen bases over 53 games since the Midsummer Classic.
"Since he's come back from his ankle, he's been great," Gibbons said. "You look at his skills and his talent level he's got as much as anybody. He's a great athlete. He's got everything. So now it's just a matter of it coming out on a consistent basis."