Fantasy Baseball Diamond Market: Blue Jays demote Adam Lind

by Nicholas Minnix on May 17, 2012 @ 11:52:56 PDT


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The Toronto Blue Jays couldn't live with Adam Lind's sub-Mendoza Line batting average any longer. They demoted him to Triple-A Las Vegas and promoted Yan Gomes, a 24-year-old who has played at catcher, first base and third base for the Stars.

Roto players should be wary of how representative the heretofore Pacific Coast League resident's .359/.391/.565 slash line in 139 plate appearances this season is of Gomes' true ability. He's never had more than 324 plate appearances in a full season, and his lifetime minor league slash line is a much less impressive .284/.338/.471.

Especially if he has catcher eligibility in your league, Gomes may be tempting. Judging from his minor league marks, the right-handed hitter has never had good control of the strike zone, however. He appears to have 20-homer power, but even if he ever found himself in a situation that offered him everyday at-bats, he'd probably be a BA liability.

In AL leagues, Gomes could prove to be lightning in a bottle, so throwing several dollars at him is understandable. In deep mixed leagues, if you take a shot, it's probably wise to keep the bid at a minimum. It's not even clear that he's going to play often, if at all.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder's versatility probably appealed to the Jays. They can keep the hot-hitting Edwin Encarnacion, who's a butcher on D, at DH regularly. This move gives Toronto the opportunity to get reserve outfielder Rajai Davis into the lineup a little more often. While Brett Lawrie serves his four-game suspension, Toronto has option at the hot corner besides Jose Bautista thene. Gomes could spell J.P. Arencibia behind the plate as well, but Toronto may be reluctant to do so since Jeff Mathis serves in that capacity and is familiar with the staff.

Lind, 28, was hitting a putrid .186 with only three home runs and 11 RBIs. He'd walked in more than 10 percent of his plate appearances, which would be a career-high rate in a full season and out of line with his performance record in the minors. In fact, a number of his Pitchf/x plate discipline figures at Fangraphs suggest that this season he's been less aggressive than he was in the past two. He's also been victimized with fastballs most frequently, according to Pitchf/x data.

Lind began this stretch of very poor results in the second half of last season. As such, it's unlikely that there's a quick fix and that his return to the majors is around the corner. A short-lived demotion is atypical of the way Toronto has handled its strugglers, anyway, especially those it once considered potential cornerstones, like Lind. Witness how the organization has dealt with Travis Snider, for example.

And even if Lind's farm numbers are dramatically better than his recent MLB marks, they'll likely be PCL- and Las Vegas-inflated. Not to mention that the Blue Jays care more about the techniques they ask their hitters to adopt than those batters' stats.

It's probably safe to say that you drop Lind in deep mixed leagues. Strongly consider holding him, at least for now, even though it may require quite a bit of waiting before fantasy owners can use him again.

We should have a better idea of what the club has in mind for Lind when Alex Anthopoulos discusses him with the media. The Blue Jays have at least a couple of other players - like Snider - they can call up in the meantime. Folks should pay extra attention in case the once revered slugger is close.

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About Nicholas Minnix

Minnix is baseball editor and a fantasy football analyst at KFFL. He plays in LABR and Tout Wars and won the FSWA Baseball Industry Insiders League in 2010.

The University of Delaware alum is a regular guest on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio and Baltimore's WNST AM 1570.

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