According to John Lott of the National Post, 24 year old left fielder Travis Snider has been optioned to Triple A by the Toronto Blue Jays.

Cue: Earth shattering. Okay, not really. It seemed evident from the get go that Eric Thames had a leg up on Snider in the battle for the starting left fielder position, and considering the age and opportunities for development, it should hardly be surprising that the player who didn’t win the role would be sent down to Triple A.

While some credit should be given to the decision makers for not being swayed by good results from a small sample, the decision to keep Thames over Snider is ultimately the wrong one.

If one were trying to derive a narrative from the roster of the Toronto Blue Jays, it would be about the hope for redemption. Think objectively for a moment. How much confidence would you place in any guess as to how J.P. Arencibia, Adam Lind, Kelly Johnson, Colby Rasmus, Thames or Snider are going to do this year. In fact, the most reliable members of the starting lineup consist of a shortstop who was practically given away be the Atlanta Braves because of a supposed attitude problem, a third basemen with 171 career MLB plate appearances and a right fielder who no one had heard of two years ago.

With so much variance, it seems to me it would be the perfect time to give players with the highest upside the most opportunity to succeed. While Thames is a nice guy who puts in a visible amount of effort, he doesn’t project to be much more than a fourth outfielder and certainly not the type to be brought in as a defensive replacement. Snider, amidst his topsy turvy career between the Majors and Minors, has shown flashes of brilliant opposite field power, but has been unable to extend those flashes into anything close to resembling consistency.

Thanks to the grumblings from the what have you done for me lately fan base, Snider has become the type of prospect who is far too quickly transitioned into a suspect. He’s only 24 years old. That’s less than a month older than Dustin Ackley of the Seattle Mariners, who only put up slightly better numbers as a 23 year old than Snider put up as a 20 and 21 year old. Alex Gordon, the Kansas City Royals prospect who finally had his breakout after years of hype, had almost 800 more MLB plate appearances than Snider currently has before he saw the type of success that everyone expected him to have.

Major League Baseball isn’t easy, and it gets even more difficult when a highly touted player gets yo-yo’d around at a young and impressionable age. With so many question marks on the current team roster, what’s one more, especially when the potential upside is as remarkable as the one the Snider offers?

Comments (214)

  1. Thames had to really shit the bed for Snider to get a chance, so no surprises here.

    He’ll be up soon if we have any injury problems.

  2. :(

  3. I cried a little inside.

  4. Speechless ….

  5. ouch. i’m a little worried this might be his death knell on the team, his best value now might be in a trade if Thames plays well into the year

    speaking of which, ATTN:fanbase – don’t take this out on Thames. it’s not his fault he doesn’t have prospect hype. we want him to hit well and be a mini-diamond-in-the-rough even if he’s taken someone’s spot to do so

    • Thames was a projected 1st round talent who fell in the draft due to an injury.

      Yes, Snider had (has?) a huge ceiling in comparison, but by no means was Thames ever a non-prospect.

      • The thing I’ve noticed all along about Thames is that he’s keen and he wants to learn. I think his ceiling will keep rising. I love Snider as much as the next guy and want to see him stay and get a fair shot. The one thing about this game though is that you NEVER know what will happen.

      • Very good point. Thames should have had similar hype to Snider when he was drafted if he had not been hurt.

        The Jays have mismanaged Snider since 2009.

        It’s funny that a team that liked to have 2009-2011 be declared rebuilding years. & allowed plenty of players to get A & innings pitched in the hopes of getting Type B picks or trade value, took the position prospect with the highest upside as Snider & let’s him waste away in Las Vegas.

        I would love to see AA explain why Jo Jo Reyes gets 20 starts, Juan Rivera plays LF, Corey Patterson gets AB’s in LF & is afraid of walls etc. yet

        Snider is treated like crap.

        No offense to Thames. He earned the spot in LF, but why is this franchise tying to maximize limited trade value with Reyes, Rivera etc, yet treats Snider who has 6 years of control as a piece of scrap.

        Sending him down now? Is there a limited number of players allowed in training camp today?

        • “I would love to see AA explain why Jo Jo Reyes gets 20 starts, Juan Rivera plays LF, Corey Patterson gets AB’s in LF & is afraid of walls etc. yet”

          Human trade bait.

          • exactly. i think this is the true reason thames was kept up. they want to play him long enough, and hope he’ll play well enough, that they can trade him for something.

            i really think the guy sent down is the guy they decided they want to keep.

            they’re talking highly of thames in order to boost trade value.

          • I really thought that was what they were doing last season with Thames. They should have traded him two months after he was called up.

      • We’ve had this argument before, but I think Stoeten undersells Thames. Thames’ minor league stats look a little like Lind’s…and while that may not be flattering now, I’d certainly take a facsimile of Lind’s age-25 year.

  6. Not unexpected. Probably a good thing. They’ll be able to see if he can keep his swing consistent and if so, he’ll be making an impact in the majors before long. Sad to see though.

  7. Michael Garncarz: Fuck this shit

  8. Earth shattering? Quite expected I think it was.

  9. Colby Rasmus is on this team and Snider isn’t. Good god freakin’ Mary and spit. Fourth place here we come. Yaaaay!!!

  10. Great news. Why should anyone be even remotely upset by this??

  11. My bet is, barring injury, either Thames or Rasmus shit the bed and by the end of May we see Snider in the SkyDome.

    • I want to “like” this but instead I have to plunk it out here.
      From now on I’ll just do this….” ILT” !

  12. They really have jerked poor Snider around. Tough to see him re-signing with Toronto down the road if given a chance to go somewhere else

  13. Rasmus will have a breakout year.

  14. Rasmus shit the bed the day he was born, literally. AA will be to proud to send him down in 8 weeks when he’s batting 189. AA will ruin this team by keeping him around, mark my words.

  15. The same people talking noise about Rasmus will be the same people jumping on his bandwagon and buying his jersey in June

  16. Yep. There was no real competition. That line was always bullshit. The better player was just sent out. I hope to see Thames succeed now that he’s (ahem) ‘won’ the job….but honestly…compared to Snider, he’s shit in the field & a poor baserunner.

    This organization has completely shit the bed in regards to Snider’s development.

    • What? You couldn’t be more wrong. Thames is a far superior base runner then Travis Snider.

      1st to 3rd:
      Snider 2010+2011: 0-19
      Thames 2011: 2/7

      2nd to home:
      Snider: 7-12
      Thames: 13-16

      1st to home:
      Snider 6-12
      Thames: 4-6

      Bases Taken:
      Snider: 12
      Thames: 16

      BaseRunning Outs
      Snider 5
      Thames 1

      Snider steals more bases, whoopy. Steals are mostly useless

      • This bunch of counting stats demonstrates almost nothing since it apparently doesn’t entail consideration of the situation each time a count was made or not made. What sort of hit was it? Who was the fielder? What was the score? Etc. Etc.

        If your subjective viewing of play over a reasonable period of time tells you that Thames is a better baserunner than Snider, fine. Mine tells me the opposite. Snider appears to be much faster for one thing. I do recall seeing him run into a few outs during one stint while Cito was his manager. Three in one week, I think. I blame Cito.

        Steals are not mostly useless. They’re why Davis is on the team and one of the reasons why Gose will be a big star one day.

    • JP Richardi was the one who shit the bed in terms of Snider by rushing him when he wasn’t ready. AA has given Snider much more run in the majors then his production would suggest he should considering his age.

  17. For all the things the team does well, their handling of players is really poor. Let him have a full season of at bats and see what you have instead of wasting years of optioning him.

  18. Don’t understand all this Snider love. Higher ceiling, how do we know? Thames has sped through the minors, improving year-on-year. Can’t be said of Snider. And blaming the organization goes only so far. Hope that he’ll prove me wrong, but I still do not see much progression with Snider. After 4 years of MLB.

    • Thames is about 16 months older and hasn’t had anywhere near as a successful Minor League career.

      • Success in statistics Snider has had more of, but minor league stats are absolutely useless in evaluation.

        • So are we just supposed to ignore the consensus among talent evaluators that Snider has more upside?

          • Who said that Snider doesn’t have more upside? Thames is more likely to play at a higher level then Snider despite having a lower ceiling.

        • If stats mean nothing in the minor leagues how does one evaluate the guy? Especially in Las Vegas. If does well does that mean that the numbers are meaningless and if so, whats the point?

        • This is an utterly ridiculous statement.

          • “This is an utterly ridiculous statement.” Meaning Steven McEwen’s ridiculous statement “minor league stats are absolutely useless in evaluation.”

      • But he’s had a more successul major league career as a rookie compared to Snider’s fourth year. Are we going to base everything on how a guy does in the Minors? Ever heard of busts? Snider was outplayed by a rookie! And was beat by a sophomore player in spring training for a starting position! Connect the dots man!

        • “Snider was outplayed by a rookie! ”

          Over Thames’ final 200 or so ABs (or 2/3 of his season) he OPS’d below .700, with a sub .300 OBP.

          Thames came in hot, then cooled off considerably.

      • Im with Parkes. Personally, I think this is a huge mistake.

        Third or fourth time sent down now? Wrong move Greek Geek, wrong move. Send Ben Fransico down. Keep both Thames and Snider and let em’ platoon and battle like the old days. It would only bring the best out in them and help the team.

        This, in my mind, permanently hurts Sniders relationship and confidence with the Toronto Blue Jays. Stupid.

        • Yeah, lets platoon 2 left handed hitters that struggle vs. righties :facepalm:

          • lefties*

          • Slap your face with my hog while your at it.

            One of them is going to have to hit lefties and probably will.

            As for lefties hitting lefties, gimme a fucking break. Right handed hitters have to hit righties almost every night, a pro hitter has to adjust regardless of what side the pitch is coming from.

          • Yeah…plus you don’t platoon guys that you are still convinced can be very good players but have to work on keeping/changing mechanics at the plate. Snider didn’t get sent down b/c they think his career is over; they just want him to have consistent mechanics and keep working on hitting off-speed stuff with his newly found quicker wrist/less action swing.

    • “Don’t understand all this Snider love. Higher ceiling, how do we know? Thames has sped through the minors, improving year-on-year.”

      Really?

      Snider

      Age: 18 Level: R PA: 226 .325/.412/.657 13.3% BB .242 ISO 165 wRC+
      Age: 19 Level A PA: 517 .313/.377/.529 9.5% BB .212 ISO 146 wRC+
      Age 20 Level AA PA: 423 .262/.357/.461 12.3% BB .199 ISO 121 wRC+
      Age: 21 Level AAA PA: 204 .337/.431/.663 13.7% BB .326 ISO 182 wRC+

      Thames

      Age: 23 Level A+ PA: 220 .313/.386/.487 9.5% BB .174 ISO 151 wRC+
      Age 24: Level AA PA: 573 .288/.370/.526 8.9% BB .238 ISO 142 wRC+
      Age 25: Level AAA PA: 241 .352/.423/.610 9.5% BB .257 ISO 150 wRC+

      It took Thames four more years to put up inferior numbers than Travis Snider did at 21. Not saying one or the other is going to be a star, but those are simply the facts and part of what people look at when they label players “high-ceiling.”

      Simply looking at their minor league career, most of what Eric Thames has done, Travis Snider did four years earlier, and better.

      • Snider of course has higher upside, but using minor league numbers to make your point is stupid. Snider can’t hit breaking pitches, or offspeed, and thats been a knock for a while. In the minors, there are alot of shitty pitchers to rake off of. Can’t judge off numbers.

        • I am specifically responding to DutchJaysFan:

          Don’t understand all this Snider love. Higher ceiling, how do we know? Thames has sped through the minors, improving year-on-year.”

          • I guess no one told him Thames was a college bat. Probably would have been in the majors in 2010 had he not had his injury before the draft. He was a top 2 round talent pre injury.

          • Snider definitely has the higher upside for sure.

        • Do you know that Thames can? No, you do not. Opinions, baby, not facts.

      • He was drafted hurt so it took a few years

    • I guess you would have turfed out Carlos Delgado and Roy Halladay before they turned 24. And since Thames hadn’t showed the organization anything yet 2 years ago, you wouldn’t have given him a chance either.

  19. I wouldn’t be so hard on Thames. He’s hit really well this spring, and I tihnk overall he can be a very good hitter. Maybe even a .900 OPS type. He has a good swing, good bat speed, he’s strong and can hit to all fields with power. I also think he can improve his defense.

    In the end, it would be nice if the Jays traded lind, moved jose to 1B, Gose in CF, Snider in right, Rasmus in left, and Thames DH.

    • A .900 OPS guy? Now, you’re just trolling.

      • I know you think you’re omnipotent, but that’s what he has always done in the minors. He was drafted lower because of an injury but if he hadn’t been injured he was a possible 1st rounder.

        He hit .770 in his rookie season…if he can learn to walk just a little bit more, I don’t see 900 OPS as too much of a stretch. He certainly has the power stroke.

    • 900 OPS?? come on man.

    • Optimism plus spunk?

    • Lot of people are going to be surprised by Thames this year. He’s got 30 HR potential, considering he hit at a 20 HR pace last year and he added 25 lbs of muscle in the offseason.

      He has a lot of intangibles….the kid has faced (and overcome) huge adversity that Snider has never had to do. He worked his ass off in the offseason. The kid is a winner, and he’s got a bulldog attitude. That’s going to take him far.

      And let’s not dismiss his raw talent either…..he was a projected 1st round pick. What’s hilarious is if he didn’t get hurt and WAS drafted in the first round, he would have that “1st round pedigree” and even if he put up identical numbers that he already has, everyone would be talking about his “ceiling” and how he’s a ‘stud prospect”

      People care too much about when someone was drafted. He’s at5 least proven that he can do something Snider can’t…..hit big league breaking balls.

      • Er… Snider lost his mum when he was like, 16. Pretty sure that it a big thing to overcome at young age.

      • Snider has faced a lot of adversity in his life, and handled it really well. He’s a smart, well-put-together young man by all accounts; as is Thames.

  20. Is this the best thing for Snider- no. Is this best for the team- maybe.

    The biggest issue here is still starting pitching. This team is still a number 2 pitcher away from seriousness. I’ll give GM AA some more time as the fifth pitcher isn’t really needed for like the first month of the year. However, if they are not out of it already, the team better be making a move like Milwaukee did when they got Sabbathia. They pushed and got him early for more starts.

    What really changed since the end of last year with the starters? McGowan is still a huge injury question mark at any time, Cecil is still missing velocity and Drabek is still a work in progress. If the Jays think they have a nice #3 coming up in June or July in Deck McGuire or Hutchison, I can accept that too as long as the rest of the rotation is solid, but I would not be really optimistic about that.

    • The best thing for the team and the Organization is developing the talent of a Travis Snider. Like Parkes says, they love to reclamate everybody else but Snider.

      • Excellent point. If Snider was on another team, he is the player that AA would target.

        The Jays should be embarrassed the way they are treating him. He doesn’t deserve this.

        It will be sad to see him play for another team & hit 40 HR’s

        • Snider is in the minors so he can play while Thames builds value in MLB so he can be traded. Snider will be up by the end of May in my opinion.

          If you listen closely to what AA said to Wilner after the demotion, it sounds like that’s what they have in mind (without it being spelled out, naturally).

    • The biggest issue is starting pitching, and nothing does in mediocre starters like giving away outs. With Snider in the field the Jays have passable-to-good outfield defence. Thames in the field and it’s significantly worse.

      How much of a hit does the lineup take with Snider instead of Thames? I would argue not much, if at all. Let’s assume the #1-6 spots are accounted for (Esco-Johnson-Bautista-Lind-shudders-EE-Lawrie), you’ve got Rasmus, Arencibia and the LF jockeying for position of the last three spots, all capable hitters.

      Overall I’d say this move hurts the team in the short-term aside from any long-term developmental concerns of individual players. For the reason you mentioned, major-league starting pitching depth. Run support won’t get Cecil into the 7th and 8th innings but some stellar outfield defensive plays can only help.

  21. And Keith Law voices his opinion on the Jays management decision.

  22. God there is so much hate and pessimism towards Eric Thames. Yes, he doesn’t have the ceiling of Travis Snider, but he has had a strong year over the course of 90+ games,something Snider has failed to do. I don’t see the big deal because I think we’ll still see Snider up for a good amount of time this year. If AA’s goal was to win this year, than maybe to him this was the best option. Maybe he likes Thames more? Who knows. I can’t stand when people set a prospects potential at a certain cap. Albert Pujols was a 10th round pick! Matt Moore was a 4th round pick. Thames will likely be a 2nd division starter/4th outfielder or he may end up having a way better career than Snider. I just don’t believe we should act like this is the worst thing to ever happen to the franchise because Snider will get his shot, and if he doesn’t it was because he was deemed not good enough by the Jays management.

    • I don’t get this argument. Compare Thames’ 2011 to Snider’s 2010. They’re REMARKABLY similar, yet Snider was 2 years younger.

      • And Snider got the job to start 2011 and regressed very badly and rightfully lost his spot. If Thames does the same in 2012 I’d expect the same thing to happen to him. In fact AA has said this will happen. No jobs for life here.

  23. thames showcase for trade maybe? hoping? Karabell on the BT podcast suggested Snider for Homer Bailey which if they can convince the reds that they should take thames instead, not so bad.

    • Why would we trade our starting LF and create a hole that we have no one to fill? Snider is just not ML ready yet. A 30% K rate against inferior ST pitching is not acceptable.

      The only think Snider had over Thames this ST was the extra 3 HR, but that’s a product of the small sample size. Both project to have about the same power, so that’s a moot point.

  24. GSJays must be irate lol.

  25. Some people on twitter have thrown out the thought that this is to build up Thames value, which is easier to do/means more/is more visible in MLB, then trade him, and bring up Snider.

    I don’t think that’s the case though.

  26. He’s still striking out 30% of the time. He’s got issues he has to work on, and AAA is the best place for them.

    • Very true…. that 30% strikeout rate is a red flag for me

    • Indeed his K-rates are regressing and not progressing after all this time. That should be a huge red flag for most especially those that are sabermetrically inclined. A 26.9% k-rate last year and roughly a 32% rate in spring training with his “refined” swing.

      Obviously he had some success with it but just as obvious is the holes he has in it. If he’s ever going to succeed for any length of time at the majors he needs to fix that. Then again maybe he’s heading towards being a Mark Reynolds type of player. The only problem with Snider in that regard is he doesn’t walk nearly as much as Reynolds so he’ll continue to have a shitty sub .300 obp. At least he brings good defense where Reynolds doesn’t.

      Maybe the low walk high strikeout rate ultimately makes him the classic 4A type of player. Personally I”m not ready to write him off as such because he’s still only 24 and still has time to prove he’s more but he’s best served spending more time in AAA right now cutting down the K’s.

  27. Who want’s to bet Rasmus isn’t hitting above 235 by the end of May? I will take any bet.

  28. He’s out of options next year and the next time he gets called up it needs to for good. A little patience here probably isn’t a bad thing. We’re angry at the past regime for rushing him and we’re angry at the current regime for not rushing him. He had a good a good spring but he’s half a season removed from swinging at everything. The contrary argument is that he has nothing left to learn at AAA, but how could we possibly know that.

  29. If Snider figures it all out at the major league level, he’s capable of being a feared, lefty, middle-of-the-order threat.

    If Thames figures it all out at the major league level, he’ll hit marginally better than he has so far.

    Snider already provides better outfield defense.

    The team will finish the year 4th in their division regardless.

    ‘Nuff said.

  30. The way the roster looks now and over the next few years, it seems unlikely that Snider and Thames both have a long-term future in the Jays organization. Which is to say: if something else doesn’t change, one of them is going to get traded sooner or later. Thames is probably at the peak of his trade value, and Snider’s trade value is probably as low as it’s ever been. So I wouldn’t be surprised if this is at least partially motivated by a desire to build/maintain Thames’s trade value, and showcase him in the Majors.

    That said: where’s the downside to putting Thames in left, Snider in right, Bautista at first, and Lind in the NL?

    • The problem with the Jays outfield of the future is that none of the group that includes Rasmus, Snider, Thames or Gose has what you’d call a nice BB/K ratio at the moment. There’s some pretty large K numbers in there. At least Gose and Rasmus have shown they can talk a walk.

  31. Was Hinske a highly touted top prospect? I remember the broadcasters drooling over him in the same fashion. I don’t get the Snider obsession, he seems really raw still, because he IS still very young. All of these guys have played ball since they were swimming nut to nut, Las Vegas is not even close to the end of the world for Snider.

    • Hinske was not. After his rookie campaign he became exactly what the scouts projected of him. No comparison.

    • Also, it’s disingenuous to use selective memory regarding top prospects like that. Sure, some of them don’t wind up being stars or even quality major leaguers. However, the majority of star players in baseball were at one point highly regarded prospects. You have to develop young players like that even if all of them don’t work out because if you don’t value your most well-regarded prospects then you will develop very few stars (only a couple of “flukey” ones that wind up coming out of nowhere… it happens a half a dozen times every ten years or so compared with dozens of stars having been top prospects).

  32. That poor guy has been jerked around enough. That having been said, we have been weak in left field for far too long. Neither of these two–from what we have seen–is the answer at that position.

    • I agree with that. However they are both still young.. you never know when one of them will pull the bat out of their anal cavaties, and wow us.

  33. One of them should be traded, and I’m hoping Thames is only up in order to better shop him

  34. I disagree with you, no matter what you write or think you know.. I have a feeling It will be better that Travis can continue to prove himself consistant in Las Vagas, or where ever they send him.. If I am AA I wouldn’t be concerned about this ego either. Plus if Eric Thames is as much of a failure and number 4 outfielder that he is projected to be, I don’t think It will take long for that to be evident this season. The rookie feeling is gone, he has to become a regular producer for this team or else he needs to be replace, simple as that. While Travis, well, more time getting minor league at bats cant be bad unless all they do is pitch fast balls at him.

  35. I’m still high on Snider and think he will contribute at some point this year, but you have to go with Thames due to consistency. Where Snider will go in to slumps for weeks, Thames will make adjustments and get on base. Plus Thames came in to camp jacked. He’s gonna mash.
    In AA we trust.

  36. Fuck off, Parkes.

    For real though, well said. I would’ve optioned down Francisco and had a playing rotation involving Thames, Encarnacion, Lind, and Snider for the 3 spots. Nobody there has done enough that they deserve a guaranteed every day job.

  37. Via Jon Morosi on Twitter: “If Travis Snider was a college draft and had a spring like this at 24, we’d be calling him the next stud outfielder. Perspective.”

    If, as KLaw suggests, Snider’s swing is the problem, it might not be the worst thing in the world for him to work it out in AAA. At some point, though, they’re wasting his time and squandering a potential asset by not giving him the chance to work it out at the ML level.

    • KLaw saw Snider in that Orlando game last week. Said that he had lowered his hands and saw some changes in his swing from last year.

      To my mind, the swing change is not a finished product. Better to work on the changes in AAA.

      Also, the 30% K rate this spring is disconcerning.

      • Yeah the K rate is less than ideal, but again he’s 24 so I think that will come. Worth noting that Thames’ K rate in the bigs last year pretty much identical to Snider’s in 2010 in roughly the same number of PAs, though.

      • Ever since last year when Snider came up with the team, his BB rate was almost non existant. He was swinging at stuff I would be emabrrassed over. He still needs to walk more. If he does that , he’ll get better pitches. If he gets better pitches with his new swing and new plan, who knows?

      • There a lot of articles out their about how a high K rate is more than made up for by a high OBP which Snider will produce one day.

        • Yeah, but it’s about swing rates. High K%, high OBP guys are striking out looking, trusting their eye a whole lot. Swinging at stuff outside of the zone, particularly when you fail to connect, is not a sign of a future high OBP. It’s the fact that Snider may have taken a step back in this regards that has me a little bit nervous.

  38. Aww, did parkes have to post this because stoeten has had a mental breakdown at the news?

    Thames has done well at every level and had a very solid rookie campaign, snider was the obvious candidate for AAA barring an injury.

    At this point in time i don’t really see any reason to believe Thames’ potential is capped well below Snider’s. Thames’ has succeeded at pretty much every level, and certainly has the physical and mental tools to prosper.

  39. Anyone else thinking that this was AA’s plan all along, to hope Thames gets off to a strong start and then trade him away at the deadline. If he let Snider make the team, that would basically mean Thames’s only was back up would be by injury to snider. If that didn’t happen, he’s in the minors forever and has minimal trade value. This way, Thames can come up to the majors and be a nice trade chip if he impresses, and then Snider can take his place for good.
    Sounds like AA to me…

    • I think this is a pretty realistic scenario to consider. As much as AA covets high ceiling guys, he’s shown a penchant for extracting as much value out of his assets as possible. Thames probably has decent value as a young everyday outfielder on the rise. Maybe not enough value to bring back a significant piece on his own, but paired with a guy like Hutchison who’s praises the Jays have been singing all spring and you’ve got yourself the beginnings of a decent package.

    • Yes, I do think there’s a trade in the works, shoring up a solid 3 hole SP would go all long way this year….

    • Yeah not bad, and I like the “guess” at what the hell is going on in AA’s brain. But that’s all it is, and when we think about it, really he ALWAYS surprises us. Thames at this point is the better player, and AA is going to have fielders coming out his ears in a year. I’d say that Snider has less than that to impress, if that.

  40. Good article, Dustin. Although I’d suggest you could invert that argument, suggest that there are so many question marks that they want something more solid, projection wise, in left field. The argument then, as mentioned in the comments, is that Snider has had similar seasons to Thames. As I recall though, Thames never went through a stretch last year like Snider did the last time he was up, when he basically went a month or two hitting a little over .100 and striking out a ton. I think that suggesting you just “leave him up to get 500 AB’s” is an implausible idea. You have to produce at the Major League level to play. (And that should go for Rasmus as well, the difference being the defense he provides in a premium position). Anyway, good article, and good to see so many Jays fans engaged. Both Thames and Snider seem like good kids, so here’s hoping they both find success.

  41. Snider wouldn’t last 15 games
    before injuring himself. Look at
    the time he’s spent on the DL. Add
    that to a fragile psyche=see ya.

  42. It was the right move, and if he keeps mashing in AAA, he’ll force his way onto the team.

    Him making the team would’ve been bad, cause Thames was mashing anyways, and given how poor Snider was last year, he wouldn’t have had a very long leash at all….so what if he slumps the first month? You’d have to bring up Thames and send him down, and it’s all that yo yoing that got him fucked up in the first place. Why not have him down for long enough to truly fix the problems, that way when he comes up, he comes up for good.

    • Rob that’s far too logical… :P

      (Don’t get me wrong I love Snider…but I don’t see this harming anything if he needs to really lock in having lower hands. If he’s going mash AAA than he’ll be back in no time)

  43. maybe if the jays ever let snider work out of his troubles at the mlb level rather than just send him down every time he slumped would be a lot further along. encarnacion somehow manages to get every chance.

    i hope thames can make the jump to being a better than average player. but he actually got worse in september last year, that doesn’t bode well to me. right now this team has 6-7 guys who are question marks as mlb average players. aa has a lot of questions to answer and not a lot of time to do it.

    • Every starter (except probably Thames) has the potential to put up AS numbers at their position….or has already done it (Lind, Bautista, Rasmus, Johnson)

  44. To all the people who think this is the wrong move…let me know when travis snider can hit a fastball above 92 mph and then we’ll talk. The reason he needs to revamp his swing is because his swing is too long and he has a huge hole along the inner half of the plate. he can get to fastballs left out and over just fine..but anything middle in eats him alive. Thames on the other hand has the opposite problem..he reaches on fastballs high and away, which he has no chance hitting…but anything along the inner 1/2 he can turn on like crazy.

  45. Why not send Snider down and maybe even give some him reps at first base?

  46. I guess this kills the dream of Snider & Thames for the struggling Jayson Heyward. Fuck his lack of attitude issues!

  47. Mark my words, the Jays made a big, big mistake that will haunt them for years to come. Once Snider runs out of options and another team picks him up, he’ll be the 50 HR, 130 RBI, .325 AVG player we all know he is. More lies from Blue Jay management, as AA continues to favor every player except Snider, he’s becoming a liar just like our old GM JP Ricciardi. Ridiculous.

    • Wow, seriously? 50 hr? 130 RBI?

      Hahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahah. Dude, pass the fucking Kool-Aid.

    • 50 HR? Are you kidding? I like Travis but he can’t hit breaking balls. If you can’t hit breaking balls you have no business being in the majors let alone putting Pujols type of numbers.

    • GS, AA told you that Thames was the encumbent and would stick with the club at the start of the spring. You have no reason to grip. Thames will get the job done, you’ll see

    • Drama queen…

    • I’m not gonna touch the numbers…but when/how did AA lie? He’s been pretty straight about this all along. Something tells me that your an avid pessimist!

      • I’m not gonna touch the numbers…but when/how did AA lie? He’s been pretty straight about this all along. Something tells me that your an avid pessimist! (Except when it comes to Snider)…bi-polar perhaps?

  48. Okay, I know these are only spring training games so the 19-4 record is no big deal. I think the 19 wins ties the club record for spring wins, but hey, you gotta like the pitching having given up only 73 runs in 23 games. The only clubs who have given up less have also played five less games. If you take away the 72 runs Rick Vandenhurk gave up while he was with the club and Oh my God! They’ve been great. Lay off me people, I can hope can’t I?

  49. All of this shit is irrelevant speculation at this point, and none of you Snider fanboys are gonna change that. He has NOT played well enough at any point during his various stints with the big club to warrant staying there.

    I’m not a massive Thames fan, but I think considering the type of ball club that AA is trying to put together, he fits the bill a little better, at least for the first month of the season, and we can see where it goes from there.

  50. This is just not good reporting/journalism/blogging.

    How do you make statements like ‘this is the wrong decision’? There have been 0 games played. There’s nothing to indicate whether it’s right or wrong yet. If Thames has really improved his arm and defense than he’s truly an interesting prospect. Only one game has been televised- unless you’ve been scouting these two in Florida how can you possibly form an opinion on which one should get the job?

    And higher ceiling? How can you possibly measure that? What if Snider never establishes himself as anything more than a decent hitter with a lot of K’s? What if Thames IS a player. It’s not only high ranked prospects that turn into stars. Some guys use the anonymity has incentive to work harder make it. At least give Thames a chance to prove he can’t play LF before calling this the wrong decision based on some mystical idea of a ‘players ceiling’.

    Let ‘em play. I feel confident that one of Thames/Snider/Rasmus will be a long-term keeper. If two are that’s even better.

    • Extending Bautista was the wrong decision. So was bringing up Lawrie instead of holding him back to delay his free agency.

      For all of the stupid things he says, at least Jim Bowden was a major league GM.

    • I think I’m in love with you…so sick of the “ceiling” garbage.

    • This is the pinnacle of good blogging, which is not reporting or journalism and does not purport to be (at least not on this site). This is opinionated and creative editorial content designed to entertain, inform and invite discussion. Look how many comments this post has received. Seems pretty fucking successful.

  51. snider is 1 year younger, but he certainly has not been better, at any level.

    MLB

    Thames: .769ops
    Snider: .730ops

    AAA

    Thames: 1.033ops
    Snider: .957ops

    AA

    Thames: .896ops
    Snider: .825ops

    A+

    Thames: .874ops
    Snider: .837ops

  52. It’s time for AA et al to own up to their huge Colby Rasmus mistake and find a way of moving him out of town in the next two weeks. Travis/Rajai can babysit CF for a year till Gose is ready, and by that time, Thames will indeed have played himself into no.4 OF.

  53. Rasmus was the best offensive CF in baseball the year before last, at age 23.

    AA got him for a bunch of relievers after one down year at age 24.

    that is the opposite of a mistake.

  54. Although I believe Snider is the better player today I kind of like this decision. Let Snider be the 24 year old knocking on the door and at some point this season supplanting Thames in left. If Snider had started the year in left and lost his job again it would be a far worse scenario for Snider.

  55. The thing to me is… and obviously anything can happen in baseball… but is Thames likely to play poor enough to lose his job in LF? If he’s hitting .260/.310/.450 or whatever in May with Snider hot in AAA, are they going to demote Thames for that?

    • Maybe not those exact splits but I don’t Thames will be doing that well. He’s likely to be under .250/.300/.430 after a reason number of plate appearances at which point he’d probably be sent down.

    • In my opinion Snider could replace any one of Thames, Lind or EE (maybe even Rasmus) if they are not producing in the first couple months.

  56. I just don’t understand what sending him down to AAA does for him. He has shown he can hit at that level and seems to excel there but can’t quite translate that to the big league. He is more of a AAAA player at the moment. Someone who kills AAA but has troubles with the blue jays. By no means do I think he has earned an everyday left field job, but wouldn’t he be useful as a left handed bat of the bench? A guy who could DH? Edwin is by no means an every day DH. Id like to see them keep him up and play him in proper match ups, or trade him, he can’t stay in AAA forever.

  57. regardless of how you view high upside/low ceiling, minor league numbers or baserunning, etc., i still feel pretty damn sorry for the guy. can’t help but have some sympathy.

  58. this was the predictable move. snider shit the bed in two separate stints in the mlb last year, and also threw up vegas numbers with some red flags sandwiched around a wrist injury and some mechanical adjustments.

    from that perspective, and with a reasonable alternative in thames, it probably makes sense to let snider continue to solidify his swing changes and approach in vegas where he seems to have a good relationship with the hitting coach.

    his swing changes have looked good in the spring apparently, but it can take a while for these things to become second nature. we wont ever know if travis has a) the plate discipline and b) the ability to hit breaking balls and lefties to succeed in the big leagues unless we first let him fix his mechanics. maybe that was their thinking. when they are convinced that he is completely right, he will be back up.

    • This.100%

      According to Parkes’ logic, Drabek should make the team as well. Though he may be better served working on his delivery and anger management issues at AAA while Laffey does his best Jo Jo Reyes impression in Toronto.

  59. What’s so bad about stashing Snider in AAA as injury insurance? How long do you think it will take before Rasmus, Bautista, EDH or Thames goes down with an injury? How many at bats do you think they’ll let francisco get anyway? He’s just going to hold down pinch hitting, blow out, sit a lot on the bench sub role.

    GM AA is looking at the big picture, although this is some healthy debate here to closely examine it. DJFans here have probably looked at this issue as thoroughly as the team has in all probability, so well done, everyone.

  60. Laffey….glad he got ruffed up today. The last thing I want to see is him “win” a job putting up bs gaudy spring training numbers with shitty stuff only to start the season and have to lose 5 times before his act gets yanked. He should only be on the roster if a complete disaster happens…..Ive seen this show before….in fact I’ve seen several of these shows.the more recent including

    shit lefties:

    Jo Jo Reyes
    Dana Eveland
    David Purcey
    Brad Mills

  61. I’m fine with this move as much as I want Snider on the team now. Let him really refine his new swing mechanics til it becomes second nature for him. Then he won’t go loco with his body flailing everywhere chasing bad pitches when he gets to the show, hopefully.

  62. I think unless Thames or one of the outfielders gets hurt for an extended period or really shits the bed (which I don’t think will happen), this could be the last we see of T Snide for a long time. There are a few scenarios here:

    Say Thames, Rasmus and Bautista all stay healthy and hit relatively close to their norm.

    In this case, Snider’s buried in Vegas. Should he rake there, his trade value slightly improves and there is a small chance he’s packaged in a deal at the deadline. More likely scenario: Blue Jays hold onto him until next off-season when they are forced to trade him or (gulp) put him on waivers.

    It’s a sad situation, really. Had the Blue Jays handled him properly, he’d probably be OK at the major league level right now, and we’d be set with another high ceiling, young stud in the OF for 2012 (making that 3/3 for us). Instead, we’re left hoping Eric Thames becomes a player he probably isn’t. Talk about backing yourself into a (outfield) corner .

  63. I’m tired of all this handled right bull shit. He is a 24 year old man making millions. Play where and how you are told to play and fucking like it. There are hundreds of prospects who flame out ever year. Snider should be happy the jays haven’t sacked his sad ass for being such a fragile head case. He has had 4 years of high level coaching at AAA and MLB and still has swing issues. If he can’t cut it move on. Jays can hold on to players too long in hoping they put it together. See Lind, Hill, Russ Adams and the rest of the sad sacs we have seen in the last 20 years. You can’t have a whole team of reclamation projects and hope to win. I think the jays have proven this many times over. For all you who will note Jose: name 1 more

  64. To quote Homer “with the two sweetest words in the English language” on how Thames won the graph race:

    De fault.

    My guess though is Snider’s swing looked like it needed more refining. He did strikeout at a 32% clip this spring.

    • I think you’re right. There’s also the fact that Thames was hitting over .333 to Snider’s .271 with the same number of PA’s. If Snider can go down and learn to “foul-off” pitches when he gets to his 2nd strike, he can increase his walks and BA, and decrease his strikeouts. That would vault him over Thames (IMHO) in the race.

  65. “the decision to keep Thames over Snider is ultimately the wrong one.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVCtkzIXYzQ

  66. Debating this move is as pointless as trying to figure out why the Jays kept starting Jose Reyes. This GM is all about setting the team up long term. Thames is playing because he’s being show cased for a trade. There is no way the team plans on keeping him around with Rasmus, Bautista, Snider, Gose, and Marisnick all under team control for the next few years.

    • They kept Reyes because AA’s a “value-whore” and couldnt bear to DFA him. The fact that there’s a gap between their Major league pitchers and their minor prospects had to do with it too.
      In a way, it’s the same situation for Snider. They’ve got Marisnick Gose Knecht Sierra and Mcdade ( et al) on the way, but there’s that gap. Snider’s problem is that his time is almost up and Thames is as good as/or better than him (ok at this point) so he splits the ML time with him..

  67. I’m just disappointed that Lind is allowed to shit the bed year after year yet Snider is never really given a chance. He always seems to come up, do well, and then hit a slump, and this slump is really something he’s never been allowed to work through. Lind meanwhile, has been slumping since forever and he’s allowed to stay. Bullshit. I always wanted Snider and first and thames in the field.

  68. Guys, guys, guys… they’re both great players!

    Seriously though… At this point, there was no wrong decision for A.A.

    Ultimately, his decision came down to who fit better in the lineup, and he believes it’s Thames. Debating it is kind of useless, as now only time will tell if it’s the right call.

    I will say that all the talk about Snider being mis-managed is kind of B.S. though – he’s had PLENTY of opportunities. MLB draft has got 50 rounds, and guys in the minors would kill for the times at the big-league level he had. Ask players in the game who weren’t drafted in the top 5 rounds and they’ll tell you the same thing. Just ask yourself – would you be all high-and-mighty on Snider if he was, say, a 12th round pick?

    • If he was a 12th round pick, he would never be in this situation, because he would not be good enough. Do you realize how much money teams spend on scouts, and how much collective experience they bring to the drafting process. Do you think they just throw darts in the wall.
      So, no, we would not be all high and mighty on TS if he was a 12th round pick because I can guarantee we would never have heard of him.

  69. All the people talking about “ceilings” and how Snider has a higher ceiling than Thames are the same idiots trying to run Rasmus out of town. Rasmus has an equal if not superior “ceiling” according to most scouts. Rasmus was always rated higher than Snider on prospect boards, so why is Rasmus a lost cause and Snider the stud prospect? I mean, besides the fact people don’t like Rasmus.

    And why does Snider have such a high “ceiling” compared to Thames, anyways? Does no one remember Thames was a projected 1st-round pick before he tore his quad and needed surgery? Why is that never taken into account when discussing his “ceiling”? And someone mentioned that Pujols was a 13th round pick… So… Is his ceiling lower than Snider’s too?

    Thames has PROVEN himself at the MLB level, Snider has regressed. When Thames slumped he was still somewhat productive, when Snider slumped he was awful. Thames has an impressive work ethic, I mean, the proof is in how much Thames has improved in just one off-season. The guy earned his spot but the obsession with Snider makes people blind to that.

    And DP, why is a .900 OPS so crazy for Thames? He had a .769 OPS last season, his rookie season, and was .850+ in his last three minor league seasons. Seems like the kid is progressing (remember that word, everyone? Something we haven’t said about Snider in years) and could reach that number. It isn’t THAT crazy. No crazier than anyone pretending they know someone’s “ceiling” or the thought that Snider might become what people expect him to be.

    • I would be willing to bet those two viewpoints (Snider has a higher ceiling; Rasmus is done) are almost entirely mutually exclusive.

      Thames has less than 400 ABs at the major league level and was flat out terrible for the last 5 weeks of last season. He hasn’t proven anything. That doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t be good this year, but he sure hasn’t proven anything more than Snider.

      • “I would be willing to bet those two viewpoints (Snider has a higher ceiling; Rasmus is done) are almost entirely mutually exclusive.”

        +1

        And I would add, TGT23… Tha fuck are you talking about?

    • If Thames has proven himself at the Major League level, so has Lind.

      I’m beginning to think there is just no way to “prove” what one might be able to do in the future. Shocking conclusion.

  70. Suffer like G did

  71. Everyone needs to simmer down!

    If Snider hits in Vegas (which he probably will) then it is highly probable he will be here by May 15th….

    One of Lind/Encanacion/Thames/Rasmus will likely not be hitting…
    Or even more likely one of anyone not named Johnson/Escobar/Arencibia will be injured… And they can shuffle Snider in…

    I would l say there is a 90 percent chance we see him in Toronto by May 15th…

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