So far, Adam Lind is hitting .222/.309/.347 (batting average/on base percentage/slugging percentage). His weighted on base average (wOBA) is a lowly .289 (league average is currently .312). We’re only 22 games into the 162-game schedule, but it’s a bad start following two awful seasons.
Since the first game of 2010, Lind has hit .242/.292/.426 in 1,236 plate appearances. That is definitely a large enough sample size to draw the only possible conclusion: Adam Lind can no longer hit major league pitching. He has maintained good power (50 home runs), but provided little else. In that time frame, he’s the 27th ranked first baseman, by wins above replacement (WAR), among those who qualified at the position (by the way, that’s 27th out of 27). Names ahead of him include Lyle Overbay Ty Wigginton, Garrett Jones, Casey Kotchman, and Daric Barton.
David Cooper is slashing .341/.402/.423 in AAA (48% above average for the league by wRC+). This comes after hitting .364/.439/.535 there in 545 plate appearances last season. He doesn’t have a ton of power, but he’s a great line-drive/contact hitter, with a very good eye at the plate (walk rate above 11% over the AA and AAA levels). He doesn’t profile as your typical home run-hitting first baseman, but he should be at least an above-average bat, which would be a massive upgrade over Lind at this point.
Cooper is passable defensively too (although he’s probably worse than Lind, who is admittedly not a good defender either) and at 25 years of age (February 12, 1987 date of birth), it’s time to give him a full-time opportunity to prove himself at the major league level.
The Jays are starting Eric Thames over Travis Snider (who is also hitting the snot out of the ball in AAA), and Thames has been pretty darn good (the Jay’s 3rd best hitter in this young season with a .311/.368/.459 triple slash and .354 wOBA). If they were ready and willing to make that decision, why aren’t they willing to push an older, decidedly bad player aside for Cooper?
Perhaps the Jays are blind when it comes to Lind, who has hit in the #4 slot in the batting order in the majority of games he’s played in this season. That is absolutely ridiculous (assuming Lind MUST be in it, I’d go Johnson, Lawrie, Bautista, Encarnacion, Thames, Rasmus, Lind, Arencibia, Escobar). I’ll be the first to admit that batting order is not the biggest deal in the world, but it does matter, and you should NOT have your WORST HITTER batting clean up.
C’mon Blue Jays. Make the smart, EASY move to improve this team’s offense, and promote David Cooper.