Look, I know Lind’s a bit of butcher out in left field. I know it really seems like he’s destined to be a career DH or, possibly, a first baseman. I know his defensive stats are a little unimpressive — UZR/150 of -24.4 last year! — but they’re based on a pretty small sample size.
So yeah, it seems like Lind should be limited to an offensive role. But in response to that logic, I’m going to steal a line from Napoleon Rosenthal: “Come on!”
Lind’s only 26 and he’s only entering his second full season in the bigs. The Jays are expected to have an awful season this year, so why not give Lind a shot to improve on his defence out in left field? With Brian Butterfield still working his magic in terms of coaching the basics of fielding, What’s the worst that could happen? The worst I can think of is that Lind doesn’t develop at all in left and costs the teams a few runs and maybe a few wins. If that’s the case, yes it’ll be frustrating, but who cares? This season is about building.
Sticking Johnny Damon out in left is not building.
Writing off Lind’s defensive skills this early in his career is not building.
Another bonus of sticking Lind out in left is that it’ll give the Jays a chance to Free Randy Ruiz. Now that’s a guy who deserves a shot at being a full-time DH but has nothing to lose by sitting on the bench for the top of the first during home games.
The other position that keeps coming up as a defensive possibility for Lind is first base. What people who bring up this possibility seem to forget is that forgotten man Lyle Overbay is still on the team. I will not stand for Overbay bashing or doubting, so as long as he’s on the team, the position, in my mind at the very least, belongs to the Albino Warlord.