Since Jordan Bastian moved south of the lake, that particular catch phrase has fallen into disuse but it's high time to revive it. Because Adam Lind is certifiably a bad mo-fo and for him, at least, 2010 is just a bad dream.
Consider if you will: Adrian Gonzalez, first baseman of the Boston Red Sox, leads all of the major leagues with a most impressive 62 RBI. Gotta give your props to that, right? Sure he makes a truck-load of money, but he's earning it - amiright? Oh by the way, he also has over 100 more at bats than Lind, who missed just under a month of the season. Would you like to know what you get if you extend Lind's RBI rate over the same number of at bats?
Gonalzez has 15 homers in his 281 at-bats, Lind's rate works out to 24 in the same number of at bats. Gonzalez's OPS exceeds Lind's by 0.001 and that's more than made up for by the fact that Gonzalez has grounded into 14 double plays (Lind has 3). Oh, and did I mention that when ranked by OPS, Gonzolez is the only player in the AL between Lind and his teammate Jose Bautista?
Bautista and the Yankees' Curtis Granderson and Mark Texeria are tied for the major league lead in HR with 21 (Granderson has 46 more AB than Bautista, Tex has 32 more). Give Lind Bautista's AB total and he pro-rates to 19, give him Granderson's and he has 23. In short, Adam Lind is arguably the second best hitting player in the AL. Like the higher metrics? Well, WAR probably doesn't pro-rate in a linier fashion like normal counting stats but if you note that Gonzalez (who's second in the AL among hitters with a WAR total of 3.6 - no idea if that includes Friday's action) has 61% more AB than Lind and you increase Lind's WAR total (2.3) by 61% you get - 3.7, so I'm going to roll with that since it reinforces my premise.
Lind did have one bad week in April, from April 10-18 he went 2 for 26. Since then, coming into Friday's play his line has been .404/.447/.798/1.245 in 29 games - for comparison in the same period, in 48 games, Bautista's line looks like this .339/.498/.727/1.225
So, I know it stands to reason that Lind's All Star vote isn't going to challenge Gonzolez's, Tex's or Cabrera's, but he's every bit the hitter those are and if he keeps this up it's going to be a crying shame if they don't find a place for him on that roster.
One other passing shout-out: for the last six weeks Yunel Escobar has been the second best hitting SS in the AL.
On the other end of the spectrum, JP Arencibia's sore thumb is killing his stat line - his OPS for June is a mere .504 and John Farrell has decided to look for ways to give him some rest. for now, Jose Molina will go back to catching Brandon Morrow along with newcomer Zach Stewart. Personally, if it were me i think I'd let Molina take the DGANG on June 22 and then Morrow on the 24th and see if three consecutive days rest and rehab might not help. It will be the last chance for something like that before the ASB.
In other news:
Item: I might as well mention Zach Stewart, as if you don't already know he threw a fine game in his major league debut Thursday afternoon. Kyle Drabek is set to start for the Las Vegas 51's on Sunday.
Item: the Dunedin Blue Jays arrived at the All Star break as first half champs in their division (by seven games!), ensuring their place in the playoffs in September. Six members of that squad will be on the roster for the FSL All Star Game this weekend and don't be completely shocked if one or two of them are in New Hampshire before too long. On June 1 Justin Jackson seemed like a lock but a June slump might slow that down. the other candidate is 2010 first rounder Deck McGuire.
Item: The Lansing Lugnuts are two games away from their break and they are in real need of a break. After flirting with the league lead for much of the first half, three fairly cold weeks have left them in third place and eliminated from that title. A confluance of circumstances left them short-handed in the rotation at the worst possible time, and the shakey infield defense has been the teams big weakness. So bad was the shortage that Casey lawrence had to be rushed back from Dunedin to spot start tonight. They needn't have bothered as the apparently unprepared Lawrence had his worst start this season (possibly of his professional career). I assume Lawrence won't be back in Lo-A long, but it's also apparent that Drew Hutchinson is worthy of promotion as well. It's not inconciveable Hutch could be the one headed for Dunedin the next time they make a move. Another player who's (statistically at least) demanding a promotion is Canadian outfielder Marcus Kencht.
Item: Jesse Litsch makes his first rehab start in Lansing tomorrow. I expect he's there to stay on schedule since Dunedin is on their break. Expect his next few re-hab outings to be for the D-Jays.
Item: Travis Snider is looking like his old self in June, particularly in the last 10 games (.487 BA, 1.330 OPS) and if this pattern holds (and Corey Patterson continues his regression to the mean - his OPS over the last 16 games is .504) Travis could be closing in on a return to the majors. Possibly along about the time the Jays finish their NL road trip.
Iten: the Vancouver Canadians, the first of the Jays three short season teams to begin play (and the highest level of the three) had their opening night on Friday and emerged with a win. Featuring 7 2010 draft choices and 2 2011 draft picks on their roster, the Canadians don't have any of the elite prospects (yet) but probably the most interesting guy is 2010 2nd round LHP Justin Nicolino. Shane Opitz, an 11th round SS with some reasonable upside is there, as is the guy who still has the best name in the system, albeit he's long since lost his luster as a prospect - 3B Balbino Fuenmayor.
The Bluefield Blue Jays have announced their roster. Among the noteable names on that squad: 2010 supplemental round picks (and top propsects) Aaron Sanchez and Noah Syndergaard, 2nd round 3B Kelin Sweeney, and 3rd round 3B (listed as an outfielder) Chris Hawkins. also, toolsy but error prone SS Gustavo pierre has been demoted from Lansig to join the bluefield nine. there's a strong possibility that Sanchez, Syndergaard, Sweeney, and hawkins will not spend the whole season here.
Some of the bright lights from last years draft are still unassigned. We know that Sam Dyson is out for the year, and highly regarded DJ Thon is only now getting back into baseball shape after dealing with an unrelated health issue. No word on 2010 2nd round LHP Griffin Murphy (who seems too advanced for the still-unannounced GCL roster; EDIT - I read his age wrong on my spreadsheet - he's not noterably too old to start in the GCL) or sleeper Devy Estrada. Look for highly paid Dominican signings Adrian Cardonas, a RHP, and C Santiago Nessy to make their North American debut for the GCL squad, along with the rest of the recently signed 2011 class such as supplemental round RHP Joe Musgrove.
Bluefield's first game is June 21, the GCL Jays start on June 20. Still undetermined is when the team will be ready to assign Dustin McGowan to a team and start the clock on his rehab.
As always, pardon the spelling and capitalization errors you might find, it's too damned late to proofread.