TORONTO -- The Blue Jays outrighted first baseman Adam Lind to Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon in order to make room on the 40-man roster for right-hander Robert Coello.
Lind, who began the season as Toronto's primary cleanup hitter, had been optioned to the Minors on May 17 following a period of prolonged struggles at the plate.
The 28-year-old hit just .186 with three homers and 11 RBIs in 34 games. He is now almost three years removed from a 2009 Silver Slugger campaign that saw him post 35 homers and 114 RBIs in 151 games as Toronto's designated hitter.
"We needed a spot on the 40-man roster, so we put him on waivers a few days ago. He cleared, and we just cleared up a spot," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said during a conference call Thursday. "Whenever he finds his way back here, we will just clear a spot again. ... We felt confident we would be able to get him through [waivers]."
If Lind had been claimed by another team, that team would have been able to acquire him and his remaining salary without having to construct a deal with the Blue Jays. Since he cleared, however, he would need to be added back to the 40-man roster
before being eligible for a return to the big leagues.
Lind entered play on Thursday night hitting .386 with three homers and
13 RBIs while posting a 1.112 OPS.
Anthopoulos said that he has received encouraging reports on Lind by Blue Jays scout Bob Fontaine. Fontaine believes that Lind will make the necessary strides to find his way back to Toronto soon, which is something Anthopoulos suggested is very possible.
Lind has been positive about the situation and has been making the most of his time in Vegas as he attempts to correct the problems that were plaguing him in Toronto.
"He says he's really felt a change and thinks his timing is a lot better, and so far it's going very, very well for him,"
Anthopoulos said. "So his confidence is definitely in the right place, and he feels like he has made a lot of changes and adjustments, and he's on the right path."
Coello, meanwhile, was promoted in a counter move to left-hander Aaron Laffey being optioned to Las Vegas following Wednesday night's 4-1 victory over the Orioles.
"It's just to protect our bullpen," Anthopoulos said about the rationale behind the decision. "Aaron Laffey hadn't thrown in a while, he was scheduled to pitch during the week, we didn't get him in any of the other games, so we needed to keep him on turn in the rotation. ... It just got to the point where we needed to have Aaron back in the rotation, otherwise it didn't make any sense. The longer he sat here, the further behind he would have been to continue being a starter option for us down the road."
Laffey, who had been called up on Sunday, was in Vegas' rotation and is 2-5 with a 4.88 ERA over nine
starts. He is seen as someone who could be a spot starter for Toronto and also be used as a long man out of the
Coello had a 3-1 record and 3.22 ERA in 17 games -- the last two as a starter -- with the 51s this season and
averaged 9.4 strikeouts per nine innings. He has appeared in just six games at the Major League level, posting a 4.76
ERA in 5 2/3 innings with Boston in 2010.
The 27-year-old will give the Blue Jays an eight-man bullpen, something the team felt is needed after the
heavy workload its relievers experienced during the last road trip. Toronto relievers threw 13 2/3 innings over a two-day
span in its last road series, in Texas, and Anthopoulos felt they weren't fully rested enough during the three-game sweep of Baltimore.
Anthopoulos also likes the idea of having an eight-man bullpen during the upcoming series with the Red Sox because of how "explosive" Boston's offense is, but that could change soon.
"Maybe after the next off-day on Monday, that's when we might look -- depending on how the series goes -- maybe we will look to get down to a seven-man bullpen at that point," he said.