Travis Snider cannot win for losing, it seems. Just when he again shows that he is too good a hitter for Las Vegas (and probably AAA in general) and the groundswell of support rises again, Travis Snider goes down with injury.
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) April 27, 2012
When Snider came out of last night’s 51s game against…some other minor league team (Tacoma, if it matters) after “jamming” his wrist diving for a ball in the field. Wrist injuries have dogged Snider over his brief career, missing time last year as well as 2010.
Reports are spotty right now but heaven forbid Snider misses too much time with a wrist injury. While I’m of the opinion that the Jays should not swap Thames and Snider at this point of the season, staying healthy only boosts Snider’s chances. As a player with a checkered injury past (fluke injuries or otherwise), Snider needs to demonstrate to the team that when — not if — he is given the starting role in left field, he will stay on the field.
Secondary to showing his body won’t break down under the strain of 162 games a year, a Snider injury derails the dream of getting the 24-year old consistent playing time at same level in any one year. Injuries and bouncing between the two levels robs Snider of the chance to play everyday at one level for a full year.
The impulse to rush Snider up to the show is a very understandable one. He continues to show he can hit anything thrown at him in the PCL. But, as I’ve said before, the Jays must give Thames enough rope to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that he is not an everyday Major League baseball player. Then, and only then, should Travis Snider step in and play.
Snider is scheduled to be re-evaluated at some point today in the desert, when the full extent of his maiming will be known. It would make me infinitely happy should Snider only require a few days off before he returns to the Las Vegas lineup to rake anew.
Then, in about mid-June or so, when Thames unequivocally reveals himself to be a good guy with decent mistake-crushing ability but not much else, Snider can come up. Full of confidence or piss or vinegar or whatever the fuck he needs mentally (not to mention the physical adjustments required to make him a legit big leaguer in his own right) Travis Snider can get 300-400 consecutive plate appearances at the big league level.
If Snider needs a chunk of time on the shelf…well we can prepare to play this tiresome game again next season, he said dramatically. It is still too early to close the book on Thames – in reality. In the abstract, many of us dismissed Thames long ago. Such is the nature of 21st century fandom and rooting for “our guys.” Sorry, Eric. That’s just how it goes.