Blue Jays expect communication from players
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos disputed claims on Sunday morning that Adam Lind received mixed messages regarding the club's philosophy on hitting last season.
Lind told a group of reporters that he was confused the past couple of years regarding what the club wanted to see from him at the plate. He was reportedly being told by former manager John Farrell to be more patient, while former hitting coach Dwayne Murphy preferred a more aggressive approach.
Anthopoulos remained diplomatic but appeared to take issue with the comments, adding that if that was the case, it was Lind's responsibility to bring those concerns forward to the team.
"I like Adam a lot, but I don't necessarily entirely agree," Anthopoulos said. "The organization wanted him to be more selective. That's on me as well. I told Adam, 'You have an on-base percentage below .300 two years in a row.'
"Murph will tell you, when you get a pitch to hit, a strike, you swing and you attack it and you look for that pitch, and if you don't get it, obviously at that point you lay off. That's where your walks will come from. ... Saying John preached patience and so on -- I did, too."
Lind is now three years removed from 2009, when he won an American League Silver Slugger Award. That year, he posted a .305 average with 35 homers, 114 RBIs and a .932 on-base plus slugging percentage, but the following seasons haven't been nearly as productive.
The 29-year-old Lind walked a total of 70 times but struck out 251 times between 2010 and '11, and while he showed eventual improvement last season, some of the same concerns remained.
There's some optimism that under the tutelage of new hitting coach Chad Mottola, the veteran first baseman can regain his previous form, but it remains to be seen whether that will be the case.
There has been an emphasis on having one clear voice coming from the coaching staff, and manager John Gibbons is already on record as saying that if he notices something with Lind's swing, he'll go to Mottola first to avoid any possible confusion.
Even so, Anthopoulos believes the responsibility for the supposed mixed messages in the past ultimately falls on Lind's shoulders.
"If he was confused overall and he wasn't sure, then I'd say it's on him to go and communicate that," Anthopoulos said. "He has been in the league long enough now, and it's up to him to say, 'I'm a little confused; I need a little help' and whatnot.
"Adam's always honest; you always respect that. He speaks from the heart all of the time, but for me, I always try to stress, 'If something doesn't work for you, if you're confused, if you're not sure, it's on you to say something. We can't do anything to help you if you don't express how you're feeling.'"