Anthopoulos: Lind's future role up in the air

Anthopoulos: Lind's future role up in the air

Anthopoulos: Lind's future role up in the air
TORONTO -- Adam Lind is under contract with the Blue Jays next season, but his role and future with the club remain very much in doubt.

The Blue Jays owe Lind $5 million for 2013 and have three club options on him from 2014-16 totaling $22.5 million. After a difficult 2012 season, Lind's status in Toronto is murky at best.

Lind was optioned to Triple-A Las Vegas and placed on outright waivers in May, then spent time on the disabled list dealing with a chronic back issue that impaired his 2011 season.

"He has already been sent down at one point and he has been hurt," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "I think it's fair to say that if we feel that there is someone else that can do the job, we aren't going to be afraid to do that if that makes the team better."

In 73 games this year, Lind is batting .230 with nine homers, 33 RBIs and a .665 OPS.

"He certainly hasn't had the year he is capable of and we were hoping for him to have," Anthopoulos said. "He had the half-season last year where he was outstanding. His numbers at the break were outstanding, the latter half of the season, he didn't play well.

"This season he has been hurt and inconsistent."

Lind was a borderline All-Star during the first half of 2011, hitting .300 with 16 homers and a .864 OPS. But he struggled in the second half and never fully recovered from a back injury that forced him to miss 24 games in May and June. In the second half, Lind hit just .197 with a .589 OPS.

Anthopoulos said Lind's 2011 performance made it difficult for the organization to predict what it was going to get from him this season.

"Adam has the ability, we all know he has the ability. It hasn't come out the last few years," Anthopoulos said.

Regardless of whether the Blue Jays can upgrade in the offseason at first base/designated hitter, Lind will at least face internal competition in Spring Training from David Cooper, a 2008 first-round Draft pick who hit .300 with a .788 OPS over 45 games.

Anthopoulos has also mentioned that top-catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud could fight for a spot at first or DH, assuming incumbent J.P. Arencibia is back as the starting catcher.

If Lind is in a Blue Jays uniform next season, he may be better suited in a platoon role, as he has struggled to hit left-handed pitching. Lind is batting .181 with a .488 OPS against southpaws this season and .218 with a .602 OPS for his career.

Lind's OPS against righties is more than 200 points higher over his seven-year career.

"I can't sit here now, after a year and a half, and say I know what Adam is going to do next year," Anthopoulos said.

"The fact that he has been sent down once certainly points to the fact that if players don't produce, we will make changes."