When the news broke over the weekend that the Jays had demoted Travis Snider and decided to give Eric Thames the starting left field job, I just knew I had recently read someone suggest precisely that scenario, but couldn’t for the life of me figure out who it was.

Turns out, it was John Sickels of Minor League Ball, who I’ve discovered (while in preparation for tomorrow’s ultra-rare Morning Snack post) included the following nugget in his Prospect Notes post back on Saturday afternoon, a day before the news broke.

Buzz from Toronto Blue Jays camp is that Eric Thames has the edge over Travis Snider in the competition for the regular left field job. Both are hitting well (Thames 13-for-40, .325/.378/.500, Snider 13-for-43, .302/.375/.698) but Thames is reportedly impressing more with his defense and athleticism, which looks like the deciding factor since both are hitting. Thames is also making better contact, with eight whiffs against Snider’s 14.


Whoever he got his information from either got lucky… or he’s got the goods. I couldn’t possibly say which– though, knowing the Jays, I’d be willing to wager a guess. Still, I must admit, I might pay a little closer attention the next time Sickels says he hears some Jays-related buzzing.

Comments (22)

  1. Sounds like he knows a scout with the team. Perhaps one of Elliott’s drinking buddies?

  2. Didn’t AA basically like say this in every interview before decision was made followed by “but it’s not decided”

    • Ya, it was hardly a scoop – the brass made it clear all along that as long as Thames had a good spring, which clearly he has from the get go – the job would be his to keep.

  3. I’m not sure I’m following. I thought everybody new this was the buzz? I don’t necessarily think he talked to anyone, rather he just reported what eveyone related to the Jays was saying/writing, thus the word “buzz”.

  4. I think that the club was pretty clear in that Thames would have the job. Short of him getting injured, Travis would be sent down to the minors. They’ll probably regret this when Travis tears it up after a team sticking with him all season that allows him to get comfortable. I find it odd that they’re willing to give guys who sign as free agents more loyalty to, than the guys they personally develop.

    You would think if anything it should be the opposite way around no?

    • Pretty much everything you said there is wrong, Ace.

    • Yeah, they show way too much loyalty to free agents like Eric Thames, who they definitely never drafted themselves, especially not in the 7th round in 2008.

  5. This is some sort of peculiar sarcasm. It has me a touch discombobulated,

  6. ??

  7. Yeah, this was said by JF and AA pretty much anytime they got near a mike, that the job was Thames to lose, and Snider would have to effectively absolutely blow Thames out of the water to get it. Since Snider was not doing that (he was hitting great, but so was Thames) it was a no brainer that Snider wasn’t going to get it.

    I guess the only thing that surprised me was that he was sent to minor league camp (I thought he would stay in camp with the team until the end before going to Vegas). But yeah, this is definitely no scoop.

    And Thames may have been impressing with his IMPROVEMENTS in defense, but if defense was truly the deciding factor, then Thames would be at minor league campe right now, because although Thames has improved, Snider is still by far the better defender, and he’s been having by far a better defensive spring (making some great catches and making some great throws to gun guys out on the bases)

  8. Um….I think everyone might be missing the point of this post???? Maybe Stoeten’s next article will be breaking news from John Hayman that Jose Bautista will make the team and Rickey Romero looks like he will break with the club!!!!

  9. Love the Blog…but you’ve been confusing me lately, Stoeten!

  10. He got the info from the man in white… that cheeky bastard!

  11. If Sickels mentioned that the press conference was at 6pm, then we’d know he was full of shit.

  12. Are you guys seriously this ridiculous? When had anyone said that Thames was “impressing more with his defense and athleticism,” for one? For two, this did not read to me like someone who’d simply been paying attention to AA and Farrell’s media pronouncements.

    Could I be wrong? Sure. But this is a guy who talks to scouts. And anyone who wasn’t toeing the company line would have completely acknowledged that Snider had been better defensively, and was very possibly hitting well enough to take the job.

    Come on, folks.

    • I took that to mean “impressing more than expected”, not “impressing more than Snider”.

      I too wasn’t sure if this was a bad attempt at sarcasm, and I wouldn’t read very much into what John Sickels thinks. He’s the one who had Nestor Molina as the team’s best pitching prospect.

      And haven’t we been hearing about Thames’s supposed improved athleticism/defense all winter? Here’s just one example – http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20120308&content_id=27110324&vkey=news_tor&c_id=tor

      In short, I don’t think Sickels has any sources near the Blue Jays that you need to concern yourself with.

      • “He’s the one who had Nestor Molina as the Jays top pitching prospect.”

        Which hasn’t been proven wrong yet. I know Nestor Molina has kind of been devalued by Blue Jays fans because a) he isn’t ours, and b) consensus has been saying that he’s not as valuable as Santos. But let’s give him a chance to let his career play out before we completely dismiss a scout based on a pronouncement that happens to be different than everyone elses.

        • He isn’t a scout. That’s precisely the problem.

          The real scouts weren’t nearly as high as Sickels (who was reading a stat sheet) on Molina.

          • Are you implying that he does his scouting via stat sheet or merely in the case of Molina?

            Because I think even when hasn’t seen the player live, that he has scout connections who give him lines on prospects.

            And even if he isn’t technically a scout, he’s still a skilled observer. For reference, check out his pieces on seeing Brett Lawrie last year.

            Certainly useful for a free website.

    • First line from Steckel “Buzz from Toronto Blue Jays camp is that Eric Thames has the edge over Travis Snider in the competition for the regular left field job” In fairness that is something that anyone who has been paying attention has known all along. So from that perspective its understandable that the piece may have come across as sarcasm. As for the defense & athleticism argument, agreed its ridiculous but Steckel has already lost us with the opening line thus negating the need for us to take the rest of the paragraph seriously.

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