OAKLAND -- Adam Lind has been dropped to No. 8 in the batting order in an attempt to jumpstart the Blue Jays' struggling offense.
Lind had spent the entire season in either the cleanup or No. 5 spot, but his subpar numbers at the plate ultimately forced the change.
The 28-year-old Lind entered play on Wednesday hitting just .186 (18-for-97) with two home runs and eight RBIs in 27 games this season. He responded to the drop in the lineup by singling in his first at-bat and then recording a two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning off of A's starter Tyson Ross.
"Just trying to kick-start something," said Lind, who is a career .264 hitter. "I'm not really doing a whole lot in the fourth spot, so hopefully I can help the team out more."
Blue Jays manager John Farrell opted to promote Edwin Encarnacion to cleanup while sliding everyone else in the bottom part of the order up one spot.
Lind has shown flashes of his former self this season -- including a solo home run on Saturday in Anaheim -- but has just two hits during Toronto's past eight games.
That wasn't going to get it done in the heart of the Blue Jays' lineup, and Farrell is optimistic that a lower slot in the batting order will allow his first baseman to work through his well-documented problems at the plate.
"You try to give opportunities and enough time for guys to demonstrate what they're capable of over a period of time, and not just a three to seven-game stretch," Farrell said when asked for his line of thinking behind the move. "We've used the 100-at-bat number to get a decent feel on what a guy's providing or producing at the time.
"Yet, the overall team performance outweighs the individual performance, even though it's a contribution on a number of individuals. Guys earn their way up to the greater spot. You try to take some of that heat off, some of that pressure off and give them a chance to breathe a little bit."
Lind is under contract through 2013, but Toronto also possesses three club options valued at a total of $22.5 million. He has 108 career home runs in parts of seven seasons at the big league level.
Janssen to take over closer duties from Cordero
OAKLAND -- Francisco Cordero's continued struggles at the back end of Toronto's bullpen have ultimately cost him the closer's job.
The Blue Jays announced on Wednesday morning that Cordero has been replaced with right-hander Casey Janssen. The 30-year-old Janssen is expected to fill the role until Sergio Santos is ready to return from a right shoulder injury.
Cordero received the ninth-inning duties late last month, but after failing to convert his last three save opportunities the decision for a change was made.
"I think it's the right decision because I'm not doing my job," said Cordero, who surrendered a walk-off grand slam to Brandon Inge in Tuesday night's 7-3 loss to Oakland.
"We're trying to win. The Blue Jays did a great job putting this team together, trying to win the [American League East] division and go to the playoffs. If I keep doing what I've been doing, we're not going anywhere."
Cordero took over as closer on April 21 when Santos was placed on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder. Cordero, who is second on the all-time list among active pitchers with 329 saves, converted his first two opportunities before things took a turn for the worse.
The 36-year-old has allowed at least one run in each of his past four outings. On the season, he has surrendered 12 runs in just 11 1/3 innings while posting a 2.29 walks/hits per inning pitched ratio.
Cordero has experienced trouble locating his fastball down in the zone, and his slider doesn't have the late-breaking action that it normally does. That has led to four home runs allowed and the prolonged struggles on the mound that forced manager John Farrell's hand.
"With the changing role, get him back to the middle of the game when those opportunities present themselves to get some work in less leveraged situations," said Farrell, who added that Jason Frasor, Darren Oliver and Luis Perez will serve in the primary setup roles.
"A lot of this is still confidence and the mental side of it. We want to build positive outings to get him some momentum, so when those opportunities later in the game arise, he's had some positive reinforcement to go into that."
The Blue Jays will now turn to Janssen in an effort to solidify the ninth inning. Toronto, which tied for the American League in blown saves last season with 25, is just 4-for-11 in similar opportunities this year, and it's clear that better results are needed in order to make a run in the competitive AL East.
Janssen was sympathetic to Cordero's situation, but also is looking forward to his new role -- even if it's just until Santos returns at the end of May or in early June.
"It's definitely bittersweet," said Janssen, who has a 5.23 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this season. "You never want to see a teammate struggle. I can't say enough about what [Cordero] has done and the kind of person he is. Hopefully I can get some outs and get us some wins.
"I'm excited that [Farrell] believes in me, and I'm ready to help in any way possible. My first month wasn't what I hoped, but I'm feeling a lot better and I'm ready to take on this challenge."
Arencibia caught off guard by substitution
OAKLAND -- J.P. Arencibia was caught off guard on Tuesday night when he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the top of the ninth inning with a runner in scoring position.
Manager John Farrell opted to take Arencibia out of the game for veteran Omar Vizquel with the go-ahead run on third base in a 2-2 ballgame against the A's.
The move came as a surprise to Arencibia, who was already in the batter's box by the time he received word from the dugout that he was being pulled.
"Throughout my career I've always driven in runs, I've always been a guy in those situations, and I feel like that's when I thrive," said Arencibia, whose club eventually lost 7-3 on a walkoff home run in the ninth. "He's our manager and I support every decision and all I want to do at the end of the day is win, that's all I care about."
Farrell made the substitution because he felt that Vizquel would be better suited to avoid a potential inning-ending double play and created the possibility for a safety squeeze.
Toronto attempted to make that strategic move on a 3-1 count, as Vizquel turned to bunt, but instead popped out to third baseman Brandon Inge. The frustration was evident on Arencibia's face both in the dugout and in the clubhouse after the game, but Farrell said he was understanding of the attitude.
"You don't want anybody to be accepting, and certainly guys need that feeling of invincibility and that confident feeling," said Farrell, who had a one-on-one meeting with Arencibia prior to Wednesday afternoon's game to explain the move.
"[It's needed] to get to this level and to be a performer on an everyday basis at the big leagues. He has his right to his own opinion, but at the same time I wanted him to be sure of my thinking leading up to that."
That type of late-inning substitution can sometimes cause players to doubt whether they have the support of the organization when the game is on the line. Arencibia said that's not the case, but admitted he was still bothered by the decision.
"I don't think he has any lack of faith in my abilities, for whatever reason he thought that was the smart play to be able to have a guy that can handle the bat," Arencibia said. "He can lay down a bunt in that situation, but as a player does it kind of rattle your head a little bit? Yeah, it does rattle your head a little bit. I'm a competitor, and it's never really happened to me in my career. It's tough, but you've got to lace them up and get ready the next day.
"I lost a lot of sleep over it, it didn't really sit too well with me. It was more difficult [because] we lost the game."
Snider back in action for Triple-A Las Vegas
OAKLAND -- Triple-A Las Vegas left fielder Travis Snider was activated off of the seven-day disabled list on Wednesday morning.
Snider had been out since April 26 with a jammed right wrist that he suffered while attempting to make a diving catch in the outfield.
The 24-year-old returned to Las Vegas' lineup and proceeded to go 0-for-3 with an RBI in his first game back. Snider is hitting .400 with four home runs and 23 RBIs this season.
Snider lost the Blue Jays' starting job in left field during Spring Training to Eric Thames. He is a career .248 hitter with 28 home runs and 104 RBIs in parts of four seasons at the big league level.