Up and Adam

Sure, top prospect Adam Lind got his first taste of the big leagues last September as a late-season callup. But that doesn’t take anything away from his ’07 debut, an impressive 3-for-5 performance after being thrown right into the lineup on his first day back to the bigs. Now, with Reed Johnson out for at least two months, Lind will get the chance to play every day, a rarity for a rookie on a team that expects to challenge for a postseason berth.

With additional injuries to Troy Glaus and B.J. Ryan, the Blue Jays now have three rookies on the current roster (INF Ryan Roberts and RHP Jamie Vermilyea being the others). But while that is three more than on Opening Day, this club has a long way to go to reach a dubious franchise mark set back in 2002 …

That season, in which the Blue Jays finished with a record of 78-84, a total of 18 rookies appeared in a Toronto uniform, including 11 who made their respective major-league debuts. That group of 18 first-year players — which beat the previous mark of 16 set by the expansion ’77 squad — included Brian Bowles, Kevin Cash, Scott Cassidy, Pasqual Coco, Mark Hendrickson, Eric Hinske, Ken Huckaby, Orlando Hudson, Jason Kershner, Joe Lawrence, Justin Miller, Josh Phelps, Mike Smith, Pedro Swann, Corey Thurman, Pete Walker, Jayson Werth and Scott Wiggins, none of which are still members of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Hinske obviously had the greatest success among the 18 that season, as the third baseman took home American League Rookie-of-the-Year honours, becoming only the second Blue Jay (Alfredo Griffin, 79) to do so in franchise history. Perhaps it’s a little early to throw Lind’s name into the hat for the ’07 ROY award. But if nothing else, the 23-year-old will certainly get the opportunity to make his case over the next few months.

Less than 24 hours after blowing his second save of the young season, B.J. Ryan heads to the disabled list with a strained left elbow … The closer role is inherited by Jason Frasor … Trailing 1-0 in the second inning on this historic Jackie Robinson Day, Adam Lind delivers a two-out single to knot the score at one run apiece … The story on this day is the stellar outing by … Josh Towers? … The right-hander allows just one unearned run on three hits in 7.2 innings, giving him his first win as a starter since May 14, 2006 … Light-hitting John McDonald will provide the eventual game-winner with an RBI-single in the seventh, scoring Royce Clayton who runs through a stop sign at third base … Hey, the way I see it, numerous stop signs didn’t stop Jackie Robinson from his pursuits … And look how far we’ve come …

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