Archive for the ‘Travis Snider’ Category


We need you.
Hell, I need you.
I’m a mess without you.
I miss you so damn much!
I miss being with you.
I miss being *near* you.
I miss your laugh!
I miss your scent.
I miss your musk.
When this all gets sorted out, I think you and me should get an apartment together!

I know the order of the day is sane and logical reaction to decisions made by a company that is more or less in the business of entertainment, and to submit to subjective analysis coupled with patience and faith that those in charge are making sound decisions to help that same company reach it’s top potential. I know that. I know all of that, but none of it changes one simple fact: I miss Travis Snider desperately.

Like, unreasonably desperately.

By all accounts Rajai Davis is a great guy, a Major League quality outfielder and a sure-fire base-stealing threat. Eric Thames seems interesting, thoughtful and creative, not bound by the limits of what we all consider “normal” facial hair. Ben Francisco never did anything personally to upset me. If any of them were doing anything but playing left field for the Jays this season I’m sure I’d be celebrating their characteristics and foibles, highlighting any small thing any of them contribute not only to the lineup but to the twittersphere, interviews and dugout shot cutaways. The problem remains: none of those fine gentlemen are Travis Snider. I can’t do anything for them aside from gazing out to left and sighing in their direction. Every time there’s an organizational move and Snider isn’t involved I curse. Then I spend the whole day reassuring myself that everything is part of the plan and that the pieces will fall into place when the time is right. That doesn’t change the fact that every day I wake up and Travis Snider isn’t in the starting lineup.

I just… I miss him so damn much.

Every time there is a token “hahaha Look at how much fun these kids are having!” cutaway to the dugout a part of me laments the fact that Snider isn’t right in the middle, growing a hideous mustache or having his haircut mocked mercilessly.

Honestly I’ve tried as hard as I can to not write this post. I already know all the reactions. The Jays are 2nd in the league in runs. Another power bat isn’t the solution to the problem unless Travis can also pitch in high leverage situations. It’s more important to have speed or positional flexibility or whatever Thames brought to the table instead of having Snider rework his swing mechanics at the higher level. He hurt his wrist. He’s still got work to do, etc, etc. I know, I know, I know all of these things, but it doesn’t change the simple fact that Travis Snider playing every day in left field would make me happy.

I know this is silly and that I shouldn’t feel this way, but I do. I know that the key to talking about baseball on the internet and avoiding scorn is to be as sane and as logical as one can and to provide statistical evidence of your claims but sometimes I get tired of being sane and logical and playing by the numbers. Sometimes I just want the 240lb kid who hits one-handed home runs into the upper deck back in my life.

I just want Travis Snider back. Is that so wrong?

Excuse me. I’m going to sit a few plays out. Stop talking for a while.

Moveable?

Around the blogosphere and in the comments here there has been some consternation of late, now that he’s healthy, about why Travis Snider can’t seem to shove Rajai Davis aside and reclaim the left field job that many hoped would have been his from the start of the season.

“If he keeps doing what he’s doing, he’ll find his way back,” said Alex Anthopoulos over the weekend, according to the Toronto Sun, “but right now Raj hasn’t done anything to lose that job.”

Now, it certainly wouldn’t hurt for Snider to be back at Vegas for more than, say, a week before he gets thrown into the fire– especially when Anthopoulos told the Sun that, when he comes up, he wants Snider to play every day, not to mention that the GM has insisted before that when he’s up, he wants it to be for good… not that he has a whole lot of choice, as Snider will head into 2013 out of options.

Still, I think you can at least make the argument that Snider’s time ought to be now, and yet… there’s Rajai Davis being run out there every night– and playing pretty well, to boot. In fact, I recall, after Vlad Guerrero was allowed to walk, pointing out to a sour fan who was ready for big Vladdy to ride in on his white horse and save the season, that Davis– with his .340 wOBA and 114 wRC+ this season– has been considerably better than Vlad was last year with the Orioles– .314 and 95– and he can field a position too.

The surprise burst of value from Davis– he was worth 3.8 wins, per FanGraphs, in 2009, posting a .354 wOBA, so it’s not entirely out of nowhere– led me to speculate in yesterday’s Afternoon Snack that Davis is very possibly keeping his starting position in left only in order to showcase him as the trade deadline approaches.

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Wristwatch: Travis Snider

Travis Snider’s new equipment.

More missed opportunities behind him, Travis Snider is back playing baseball, as you can see above, sporting a fancy new wonky-wrist protector for when he’s on the base paths while rehabbing in extended Spring Training last night.

Alexis Brudnicki was there, tweeting that he reached base twice– including a long double– that he stole a base, slid thrice, and ripped his pants open, but that his wrist seemed fine.

She also filed an excellent, lengthy, profile of the bad luck outfielder for CBC Sports– though he would insist that he not be called that. “I feel like that position’s always been mine and I’m the only one to blame for the struggles and, per se, losing that position,” he says of the left field job in Toronto, currently occupied by Rajai Davis, after Eric Thames– victor in this spring’s nominal battle for the spot– was demoted after putting up a .230 wOBA, a .108 ISO and striking out 31.8% of the time in May.

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Image courtesy of the Globe & Mail

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.

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.

I have nothing bad to say about Eric Thames as a person. In interviews and public appearances, he seems to be genuine, intelligent and humourous. He has style, grace and a whole bunch of other descriptives found in the lyrics to Vogue. Perhaps most importantly, he has what the French call “the elan,” and what Blue Jays fans call “the swagger,” that the people of Toronto seem to love.

He has all this, but I have my doubts that he has the ability to be much more than a fourth outfielder.

Last night in Baltimore, as the Blue Jays inexplicably lost to Tommy Hunter and the Baltimore Orioles, we saw the best and worst of what Thames has to offer.

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Greetings From Dunedin
Welcome back to your weekly fix of Blue Jays prospecty goodness. I decided to try something new this week: if you scroll down to the end of this article, you’ll see organization leaders in several hitting and pitching categories (current through games of April 17). If you like seeing them every week, let me know. If enough people are interested in them, I’ll work on a better way of displaying the leaderboard tables.

Also, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that you’re now able to follow the statistics of Toronto’s top 20 prospects (as ranked by Kevin Goldstein) over at Baseball Prospectus’ new Top 11 Prospects Tracker.

(Note: to conserve pixels, I won’t be running the Top 30 Prospects list every week, but I will include a link to the list in each post) Read the rest of this entry »

 

Awesome Photoshop from commenter Indestructible. Special bonus alternate here!

Ken Rosenthal has some notes on the quiet trade market for Travis Snider in his latest for Fox Sports, explaining that “rival clubs like Snider, but know the Jays are unlikely to move him when his value is down.”

“The Jays’ reluctance to give up on Snider, 24, is understandable for other reasons as well,” he adds. “First off, the Jays might need Snider at some point this season. Second, a talented young player can haunt a team that gives up on him too quickly.”

He then mentions the same name that Alex Anthopoulos did when speaking with Mike Wilner in the wake of the demotion: Brandon Phillips. (At least, I think that’s where he brought up Phillips. He definitely did at some point, somewhere.)

Phillips, of course, was a second-round pick of the Expos, who made the Majors at 21 with Cleveland, having been acquired in the Bartolo Colon deal, but wasn’t able to fully translate his minor league success until his age 26 season– a year after he was traded to Cincinnati. In the five season since the beginning of that breakout year at 26 in 2007, Phillips has accumulated 22.1 wins, per FanGraphs.

Of course, he “needed” a change of scenery in order to do it– or, at least, he experienced one. Who knows whether or not it was actually necessary.