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Here’s something that I may just do the once, or I may keep going to occasionally as the tedious days of the Grapefruit League continue on toward Opening Day: a completely unscientific chart showing the progress of the battle for the Jays left field spot!

I, of course, have no fucking clue where the Jays heads are at on this, with the exception of Alex Anthopoulos and John Farrell having said over the off-season that Thames must have an edge, because it’s his job to lose, that defense is going to be a factor, and that spring stats are going to count for less than the quality of at bats, and presumably the opposing pitcher– hence the unscientific, completely perception-based nature of this exercise.

Thing is, as the club’s lone non-rotation position battle, I figure that for the next month we’ll be paying undue attention to how Travis Snider and Eric Thames fare against the league’s cannon fodder and developing prospects, with a small mixture of actual MLB-calibre pitchers thrown in for good measure. So, why not shoehorn myself it into treating it entirely like a horse race, y’know, like the way they’ve unbelievably somehow managed to even further dumb down American election year political discourse!

The Jays lost their first game of the spring today, 4-2 to the Detroit Tigers, and while Snider didn’t play, following his 2-for-4, 3 RBI performance on Sunday, Thames did, going 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts.

Should that alone have dropped him as much as we see on the graph, considering his two-hit performance on Saturday, which included a home run? Probably not. But Snider gets extra points thanks to Larry Millson of the Globe and Mail, who wrote over the weekend that Snider “took up reading about Zen” following his difficult 2011 season– a process which started with The Way of Baseball: Finding Stillness at 95 MPH by none other than ex-Jay Shawn Green.

Hmmmm. I can’t image why a book by a former hotshot Jays prospect who got jerked around by Cito Gaston but then went on to have an extremely productive MLB career might speak to the 24-year-old.

Comments (32)

  1. Great idea, do it every day.

  2. Stoeten, this is the best chart I have seen in a while. I think its accurate too. 

    And to add to it a bit , I think Thames has the upper hand because he resembles an atheletic, and muscular Renessance Man.  Opening day, I am duck taping a bottle of Courvoisier to my right hand if he beats out Snider.

  3. you’ve got 20% lower than 10%

  4. Courvoisiser is some good shit. 

    And if Gose makes it in 2013, we will all be duct taping Grey Poupon mustard.

  5. nevermind, crappy resolution, that’s a 4 not a 1

  6. *In a prissy English accent* “Excuuuuuuuusssssss me, but do you have any Grey Poupon?”

  7. It’s gotta be Travis. Thames does not impress me. #TeamSnider #MeatsDontClash

  8. One way or another, someone is going to be some delicious trade bait if they both perform. 

  9. I’m hoping to see this again.

  10. If they both perform, dh would open.

  11. Snider has about as much chance of beating out Thames as Steve Balboni did of outracing Vince Coleman. 

    repeat after me:
    Thames> Snider

    You really think the team is going to take into account spring training stats when it comes to making a major decision? 

    If that were the case, Jason Lane would have been on the team a couple years ago.

  12. “ I can’t image why a book by a former hotshot Jays prospect who got jerked around by Cito Gaston but then went on to have an extremely productive MLB career might speak to the 24-year-old.”
    Nice – the Green book is a good read too.  Interesting insight into the post-BJWS years and the art of detecting pitcher ‘tells’.  Also makes you wonder why the Jays didn’t have a roving instructor job for Tony Fernandez – Green portrays his as a genius.

  13. Steve Balboni!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Beautiful!!

    I am going to try to trump you with this one:     Pete Incaviglia

  14. Maybe read the post, champ.

  15. Hell, I am going all in with ………… Ron Muthafuckin Hassey.

  16. I stumbled across this a couple days ago. Funniest baseball-related thing I’ve seen in a while.

  17. Okay, if Snider wins the comp, I’ll duct tape a 40 of Rainier to both hands and one to my assback.

  18. Tony Fernandez was the best. Id go to war with notion too.

  19. WHEN Snider wins the job, I will be celebrating by eating a raw Ribeye steak downed by cans of Miller Lite.

  20.  I did read the post.  The comment isnt directed at you..its a simple statement of my opinion. 

  21. So when is Stoeten going to organize a DJF’s right field shitshow- get together so we can all insult each other to our faces and tell Nick Swisher how shitty his mom is in bed?

  22. Is she hot?

  23. She looks like Squisher but with long hair .

  24. Snider wasn’t jerked around by Gaston – far from it. What happened instead was a bunch of goofs on the internet who thought Snider should hit cleanup even though he can’t hit a breaking pitch, a lefty, or a major league fastball. Gaston wisely put him instead where he belonged – at the bottom of the order – and let the jackals whine. 

    If anyone screwed Snider it was JP Ricciardi who raced him out of each minor league level in 2008 before the pitchers could adjust to him, so the first ones to find his weaknesses would be major league pitchers who had him for dinner. Ricciardi thought it would look good on his failed resume if he drafted at least one solid position player in his 8 years of shitty drafting to prop up his dying regime. The same guys who rag on Cito for not hitting the Great White Hope cleanup – Wilner (who wanted Bautista benched) and Stoten, were the guys sucking Ricciaridi’s dick a few years ago.

  25. Is that the right definition of embiggen?

  26. An incredible fucking dipshit, everybody!

    Great work constructing straw men, but sorry, friend, Cito jerked Snider around– and the issue wasn’t about the batting order, it was about simply playing every day. Please get your facts straight before you embarrass yourself any further trying to call other people out.

    You’re right that Riccairdi did jerk Snider around too– and Anthopoulos– and is probably even more guilty than Cito, but unfortunately, that doesn’t make you not a complete moron, or a disingenuous piece of shit when you try to shit on Wilner for at some point saying Bautista should be benched (because if he even did say that, it was at a time where there was absolutely no reason we knew to think otherwise), or when you point out our frequent defences of Ricciardi– completely warranted as they were against fucking fools who leave comments like this– without mentioning our frequent rants against him too. Oh, and lumping me in with Wilner like we’re ideologically inseparable? Thought for yourself since 2008?

    Jesus, what a weak attempt at gotcha bullshit. Maybe save the next one for someone capable of pulling it off, dickless.

  27. Stoeten. Seriously speaking, please tell me that you and Wilner don’t hang out and drink 20 dollar Grey Goose and limes on the weekend?


  28. This is a great idea Stoeten and even if it’s not daily, once a week this is a staple. Perhaps even at the beginning of the year when the loser of the competition is tearing up AAA and the winner of the competition is clinging to his major league job.

    Pure speculation of course, but I wonder if AA feels the best move is to sink or swim with Snider and that he hopes Thames has a hot spring so he’s more valuable in trade.

    AA has said numerous times that he values impact players. Whether or not Snider ever figures it out, presumably that talent is still in there. Like Drabek, the probability is just lower.

    Thames, on the other hand, may be better than the 4th OF label some have given him, but it’s gonna take a lot of hitting to make up for his awkward approach to defense.

    AA has also mentioned that he may acquire an out of options player towards the end of spring training if the opportunity arises. One interesting name is former top prospect Homer Bailey, who had a better K/BB ration than Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow last year.

    I’ve mentioned before that a Thames and Cecil for Bailey swap could make sense for both teams if the Jays want Snider in LF. The Reds get a lefty for their rotation and if they feel Chapman warrants a rotation spot, Cecil either moves to the ‘pen or gets sent to AAA since, unlike Bailey, he has options. And Thames provides a left-handed OF to compliment Heisey, something Dave Cameron suggested the Reds acquire since they are in win now mode.

    Not denying that Thames and Cecil are better conditioned this spring and that AA is legitamtely excited about it. But perhaps the legitimate excitement is that other teams potentially consider them better trade chips.

    Snider may never be the all star he was once projected to be and Thames may end up being the better player. But just because Snider might not be an impact player doesn’t mean Thames will be.

  29. I am very confident that Snider will put up good numbers this spring, and will likely put up better numbers than Eric Thames, as he has shown consistently in the past that he can do well against inferior pitching.

    However, I’m less confident that if Snider wins the left field job that he will do well in the majors this season.  I would love to see him finally become the player we all thought he could be, however there was a point last year where I completely lost faith that it will ever happen.

  30. Snider has a long and slow bat.  Cito Gaston did not screw him around, he did that to himself by not learning how to hit at the big league level.  He is a decent outfielder,  but the Jays need more from him at the plate.   This will not be an issue after spring training when Thames wins the job.  They are going to have to either trade or release him.  Maybe he will prove me wrong and become a “monster” like what Mike Wilner keeps saying.  But really I only see him being being a “monster” in some beer league with Jose Canseco.

  31. Where is the updated graph?????????????????????? lol

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