Lind and Arencibia: Message Received

Image courtesy of Daylife via Reuters Pictures

There are some managers who aren’t afraid to present their opinions unfiltered to both the players and the media. And then there are other managers who use the more subtle approach. But I think eventually even the more subtle managers need to take a page from their outspoken counterparts.

In the wake of a stunning loss on Tuesday night at the hands of the Oakland A’s, John Farrell decided to shake things up and made some drastic changes to not only the starting lineup, but the bullpen as well.

If Farrell was looking to send a message to multiple members of the Blue Jays roster, it was certainly received loud and clear; and perhaps that message resonated most with Adam Lind and J.P Arencibia.


A lot of fans (your truly included) pined for weeks to have Lind removed from the cleanup spot. And then when John Farrell finally moved him down to bat in the eighth spot, I got a strange feeling in the pit of my stomach.

Here’s somebody who’s been a lightning rod for criticism since 2010, and now all of a sudden I can’t help but feel bad for the guy. John Farrell has done his best to treat Lind with kid gloves, but maybe some “tough love” was necessary in this particular situation.

Looking at the boxscore from yesterday’s game, you’d never know Adam Lind had just been demoted from the cleanup spot in the starting lineup after going 2 for 4 game with a home run. Some say moving him out of that high leverage spot was the catalyst for it all, but I personally think it was the high socks.

And then we have J.P. Arencibia; the afternoon after being pinch hit for Omar Vizquel in the top of the ninth, J.P. responded the very next day with an emphatic home run. It was almost as if Arencibia responded to his manager and said “pinch hit THIS!”

Apparently J.P. Arencibia was pretty shaken up after being pinch hit for in Tuesday’s game, and I guess he took it a lot more personally than I ever expected he would. John Farrell might not have intended it to be a motivation tactic, but it certainly yielded some great results the following game.

Even though he has just over one season’s experience as a manager under his belt, there are some instances where it’s very evident that John Farrell is still a little green. Much like the Blue Jays themselves, there is still room for improvement.

I can appreciate that Farrell isn’t trigger happy with the lineup, because that was one of the criticisms of former manager John Gibbons. He almost tinkered with the lineup too much, while Cito Gaston didn’t tinker enough.

It seems like John Farrell is still finding his way as a manager, and I’m cool with that. In order to find out what works best for his club, he’s also going to need to find out what doesn’t work. And I guess he can now scratch batting Adam Lind fourth and pinch hitting for J.P. Arencibia off that list.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

6 thoughts on “Lind and Arencibia: Message Received

  • May 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I just hope that, if Lind has a good couple of games down in the order, they don't move him back up to the 4th spot. If he has success down there, leave him!

  • May 10, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    A)I don't think they were treating Lind with kid gloves at all by leaving him in the fourth spot, if anything it was tough love leaving him there. He was struggling and it was clearly affecting him mentally, feeling like he was letting the team down day in and day out. I bet Lind was ecstatic when he heard he was moving down the order.

    B)I highly doubt Farrell was trying to send any kind of message to JP and it would have been incredibly stupid if he was because he has been raking the last few weeks. Pinch hitting Vizquel for him in that situation was downright insulting though, and JP had every reason to be shaken up by it. Hopefully Farrell will remember this situation if he ever thinks about making a bonehead decision like this in the future.

    • May 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm

      Good point on Lind – I never considered that keeping him in the cleanup spot might actually be somewhat of a punishment in itself.

      I don't understand Farrell's logic of pinch-hitting Arencibia. The only reasoning was perhaps he was more confident in Vizquel to lay down a bunt or get the ball on the ground, whereas J.P. is more of a fly ball/home run hitter.

    • May 10, 2012 at 7:50 pm

      Agreed, and I think that's what he had to be thinking, but the situation with only one out did not justify that decision at all, as a fly ball deep or a steal attempt by Rasmus would have accomplished the exact same thing as a squeeze would have, with a lower chance of sacrificing an out.


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