TORONTO -- It might sound simple, but Adam Lind credits increased confidence for his recent improvement at the plate. Toronto's designated hitter admits that was an area he struggled with throughout the first three months of this trying season.
"I always thought I could still get hits," Lind said on Wednesday. "But I was just swinging through pitches. It reminded me of my rookie year. It was like, 'How am I missing these pitches?' I was getting fastballs that I could drive and that I know I could hit, and was just missing pitches over the plate.
"Something's wrong when you can't hit fastballs that are over the plate. I'd go back to the dugout and think, 'Why am I missing these?'"
Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston does not doubt that was an issue for Lind.
"When you struggle, you lose confidence in yourself -- no matter who you are," Gaston said. "You start to doubt yourself and wonder, 'Hey, do I belong here? Can I hit here?' All those things run through your mind and that doesn't help at all."
Dating back to July 1, Lind has been feeling more confident and comfortable in the batter's box. Since then, he has hit .291 with a .345 on-base percentage and a .532 slugging percentage. That follows a 77-game stretch during which he hit just .203 with a .264 on-base percentage and a .341 slugging percentage.
"It's been a little bit of luck and confidence," said Lind, who made it a goal at the All-Star break to lift his average to .250 before the end of the season. "I think a lot of it is my rhythm at the plate. I feel comfortable up there right now."
Lind, who entered Wednesday hitting .234 with 17 homers and 56 RBIs in 119 games for Toronto this season, said part of his problem early on might have been trying multiple changes to his swing mechanics and approach.
"I was trying to feel it," Lind said. "I think I've kind of got a feel for what's right right now. Trying so many things could be a bad thing in one way, but you're trying to figure things out. When you try so many things, you probably create other bad habits.
"Now, I've just really tried to keep it simple."