05/17/11 12:30 AM ET
Back troubles land Lind on 15-day DL
Blue Jays call up prospect Thames to take slugger's place
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
Toronto purchased the contract of top prospect Eric Thames from Triple-A Las Vegas to replace Lind at the Major League level. Right-hander Robert Ray was designated for assignment by the club to make room on the 40-man roster.
Lind's stint on the disabled list is retroactive to May 8. He had already missed eight games after developing muscle spasms in his lower back.
"It's responding, yet he still doesn't feel completely confident when it comes to making the plays defensively at first," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "It feels like once he gets into an outstretched position, the stability in the core isn't quite there.
"We felt like he's going to need another three to five days to further strengthen that, let the back to continue to settle down."
Lind will travel to Toronto's Minor League complex in Dunedin, Fla., to continue his rehab. The 27-year-old is eligible to come off the DL on Monday against the Yankees.
The former Silver Slugger Award winner was hitting .313 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs at the time of his injury. It's yet another blow to the Blue Jays' big league roster, which has lost a total of 184 games already this season to players on the disabled list.
Thames will be the one called upon to try and fill the void. He made a name for himself last season while playing for Double-A New Hampshire, where he was named the club's Most Valuable Player after hitting .288 with 27 home runs and 104 RBIs.
That success continued in Spring Training when he impressed the Blue Jays' brass after getting an extended look with the team. He tied for fifth on the team with 60 at-bats while recording 24 total bases.
Farrell said Thames would receive playing time in left field and at designated hitter with the Blue Jays.
"He has continued what he did at Spring Training throughout the course of the year so far," Farrell said of Thames, who was hitting .342 with 25 extra-base hits in 36 games. "I think it's time to take a look at what Eric can do for us."
Ray had yet to appear in a game because of an injury. He is 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA in 28 career innings in the Major Leagues.