Archive for the ‘Travis Snider’ Category

Shi Davidi has the third installment of his Travis Snider retrospective up at Sportsnet, and it’s far less relevatory than the previous two pieces, though it remains interesting in that it’s extremely forthright for an interview with an active player, and largely because of that, continues to paint Snider in a less-than-flattering light.

I mean, I had folks bitching at me to no end yesterday on Twitter, apoplectic in their insistence that turning the path of a simple failed prospect into a “saga” was grotesque overkill by fanboys who just need to fucking get over it already– and that might even be true, if it weren’t so illuminating of the way the Jays operate, or so instructive a case study in how to kill off all kinds of asset value in an elite prospect. Or if all the dirt and inside information wasn’t coming openly to the media from a young, active player who presumably hopes to maintain job prospects in the game for many years still to come.

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Davidi on Snider: Part Two

Shi Davidi has part two of his piece on the Travis Snider saga up at Sportsnet, and it starts painting a different picture than the one I thought I saw yesterday, one that almost makes you wonder whether the calm, modest manner we’ve always seen from Snider– that allowed the media to so casually talk about the wisdom beyond his years he possessed– wasn’t just a veneer, but a genuine detriment that helped him internalize all the conflicting emotions and thoughts that he seems to believe largely held him back.

Sure, maybe that’s easily dismissed armchair psychology on my part, but it’s truly striking that, for a guy who came off as so thoughtful and mature, he certainly seems to be the common denominator in a number of communication breakdowns with a number of different people, and his own worst enemy in terms of being able to focus.

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In a must read piece at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi talks to Travis Snider, Cito Gaston, and Gene Tenace for part one of a three part series on how Snider, now a Pirate– and struggling, with a .246/.321/.331 line in Pittsburgh, and only six starts in the month of September– went from being a wildly hyped prospect to not just expendable, but expendable enough to deal for Brad fucking Lincoln.

It’s a fascinating piece, which reinforces a lot of what we probably already felt about that part of Snider’s saga, but that fills in a lot of the gaps for us, and adds some crucial new information– the fact, explored in one of the next installments, that he turned down a long-term deal with the club, for example.

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Editors note: This isn’t analysis. It’s not sage, level headed reasoning with statistical backing. It’s just a fan being a fan. Stoeten did all the reasonable reacting here and here This post is reserved for flippant, irrational fanboyism at its highest.

Travis Snider has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

My first post with actual words in it on DJF was an ode to how much I missed seeing my favourite player suit up for my hometown team. A number of the comments echoed the sentiment “Who the fuck is Archi Zuber?” which is a question even I’ve battled with in my own head. I decided to not bother explaining myself or why I was here or what I’d be doing, instead opting to let the words speak for themselves and let all the comment mongerers figure out my personality by following my writing. Now, as I stand faced with a white page to be filled up with my second ‘real words’ post, it seems only fitting that the departure of that same player is the topic at hand.

The first time I ever commented here at DJF was March 2nd, 2008. A younger version of Dustin Parkes ran a live blog of the Jays first televised Spring Training game and I was through the roof excited to watch 20 year old prospect Travis Snider take an AB in a Blue Jays uniform. Parkes was obviously impressed:

And I quote:

Archimedes when you were watching those videos of Snider in HS I hope it was on a friend’s computer. I don’t have time to post comments, but I’m sorry, that’s pathetic.

He’s right, you know. Four and a half years later I’m less excited, and probably still exactly as pathetic.

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Travis Snider was pulled from tonight’s game in the seventh inning for no injury-related reason, then proceeded straight into the clubhouse with John Farrell, eventually coming back out to shake hands and exchange hugs with teammates. Clearly he has been dealt somewhere.

And Wilner has it:

This will not go over well.

But, of course, Travis Snider for anybody would have had the masses up in arms, because of all that was promised of him over the years, and all that wasn’t delivered on. And of course, to many minds– mine included– all that he wasn’t given enough opportunity to deliver on.

But as disappointing as it is to see the club give up on him, and as underwhelming a return as Brad Lincoln appears to be on first blush– especially since this all went down in real time, on the field, with many rumours swirling about the club’s interest in Matt Garza — the red flags certainly come a little more into focus as Snider heads out the door.

There are the crazily high number of strikeouts. The inability to keep himself healthy and on the field. The lack of success he’s had in the few, limited opportunities he’s had in the majors.

Most importantly, I think, there’s the question of his future value.

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Travis Snider had a huge game for Las Vegas last night, going 4-for-5 with a double and two home runs, and intensifying the calls for him to be promoted, and questions about why it was Anthony Gose and not he who got the call in the wake of Jose Bautista’s injury.

Our old friend the Tao of Stieb is leading the charge in this regard, absolutely losing his mind over the relationship between player and club, which he calls “a step short of abusive and a step beyond insulting.” Gose’s apparent leapfrogging of Snider on the depth chart was, for him, the final straw in a long line of abuses that has, in the past two years, seen the Jays decide “that Rajai Davis, Eric Thames, Ben Francisco, Corey Patterson, Juan Rivera, Dewayne Wise, Adam Loewen and Mike McCoy were all better options than Travis Snider,” which would sound pretty damning if it were entirely true, or if the situation weren’t a little more complicated than that.

Loewen didn’t suit up for the Jays until September of last year, after Snider had been shut down with wrist tendinitis, for example. Rivera and Snider were both in the lineup most of April of last year, and Snider was hurt for the majority of the time while Rivera was playing the outfield from mid-June until he was dealt to Los Angeles in early July, meaning that Rivera was only technically ahead of him on the left field depth chart for about ten games. McCoy played alongside Snider in the outfield at the start of last year, after Rajai Davis went down Opening Day, and again only for a few games in mid-August before Snider, then in the minors, was shut down. Dewayne Wise also only patrolled the Jays’ outfield after Snider was finished, in late August and for much of September. And this year you can’t really say that Ben Francisco has had a starting gig at all.

But sure, the overall point stands that the Jays have put some terrible players ahead of Snider.

Eric Thames’ 2011 was on par with Snider’s 2010, except that Snider actually provided defensive value and was perceived as having a far higher offensive upside. This year Rajai Davis has sunk into fucking oblivion, posting worse numbers in terms of on-base, OPS, wOBA and wRC+ than even the meagre numbers Snider has posted during his unsuccessful and intermittent big league stints. And Anthony Gose, while extremely talented, is very young, and very green at the plate.

Absent of context, it’s hard to see a reason for Snider to have ever ceded playing time to any of these guys (unless you’re one of those poor souls who asininely believes Snider has already demonstrated more than enough that he can’t succeed at the big league level). But context here is kind of the whole story.

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Shi Davidi of Sportsnet tweets some clarification on the reports that we’d heard from Las Vegas about Anthony Gose being removed from tonight’s 51s game…

The suggestion that Gose is next in line to get the call-up has produced a lot of “whither Travis Snider?” reactions, and naturally, more griping from fans insistent on seeing this as further evidence that the club is screwing over its once-elite prospect.

That said, while it’s easy to get caught up in the prospect porn trip, obviously, first and foremost, the concern is for Jose Bautista, and what any time on the DL for him might mean to the Jays’ already-slim chances in 2012.

I saw some folks on Twitter who actively welcomed the news, actually, seriously hoping that the results of tomorrow’s MRI would quickly usher the Jays in to sell- and play-the-kids-mode. Others, somehow even more fucking ludicrous, seemed to feel that this very well may mean the end for Bautista, unless he’s able to find Luke Skywalker’s wrist doctor… or… anamatronic limb-maker… or… whatever the hell that was in that movie people my age know way too much about.

But there’s only so much you can say about that until we find out what the injury is for certain (unless, apparently, you’re Paul O’Neill), and lots of talk has turned to what happens if our MVP does go on the DL. In that regard, obviously, seeing Anthony Gose patrol right field is an exciting prospect when divorced from any thoughts of the reasons that brought him there, but it’s certainly fair game to wonder why he got the call and Travis Snider did not.

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