In an almost wholly unbelievable piece of news for a team that has no intention of competing this season, the Toronto Blue Jays sent down their admittedly struggling prospect Travis Snider to Triple A Las Vegas.

The last time Snider was in Triple A, it was in 2009, and his OPS was 1.094 after 204 plate appearances. In other words, he has absolutely nothing to prove.

I can’t even begin to fathom the thinking behind not giving Snider, whose upside is as large as his appetite, every opportunity to succeed at the Major League level in an otherwise meaningless season. The only reasoning I can come up with is as bizzare as it is berserk.

Rajai Davis is expected to come off the Disabled List tomorrow and it frightens me to think that Snider being sent down was done so with the purpose of giving Corey Patterson more at bats. Yes, he’s had some good games for the Toronto Blue Jays in his 70 or so plate appearances this season, but Patterson has a sub .300 career OBP. More than 70% of his times at the plate end in outs.

Another option is that the move is designed to give Juan Rivera more playing time to hopefully boost his trade value. Fine. But expectations for anything other than salary relief is probably misguided no matter how well he’s played for the last week.

Another, even worse option, would see Scott Podsednik come off the Disabled List along with Davis. In addition to Snider being demoted, Chris Woodward was outrighted to Las Vegas. That’s two holes in the active roster that the Blue Jays will be filling in the near future. Giving playing time to Podsednik at the cost of Snider has even less logic behind it than doing the same thing with Patterson.

In summation, there’s nothing to be gained by demoting Snider. He knows he can hit there, so there’s not going to be a magical increase in confidence that will somehow be the key to all his struggles. Those replacing him, who will be given his at bats in Toronto, will, as a best case scenario, be traded before the July 31st deadline for returns that no one would place much faith in.

I’m really looking forward to finding out the corresponding roster moves because right now, I can’t explain why this demotion has taken place.

Update:

Shi Davidi is reporting that in addition to Rajai Davis coming off the DL, former first base prospect David Cooper will be called up. I guess that’s because between Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion and Juan Rivera the Blue Jays don’t have enough players who can DH or play first base. Seriously though, I’m not sure how less than 100 PAs at the MLB level for one left hander speak to his need for improvement while less than 100 PAs at the AAA level speak to a need for promotion. And also, where is Cooper going to play?

Thoughts On Service Time

Snider entered this seasonwith one year and 126 days of service time. A full year in a Blue Jays uniform would’ve meant two years and 126 days of service. Last season, the Super Two cut off was two years and 122 days, but experts say that 2011 will have a much later cut off, somewhere around two years and 144 days. Snider is still expected to miss that number by eighteen days. Aside from that and for what it’s worth, Alex Anthopoulos has stressed in the past that he wouldn’t let financial matters dictate roster moves. So, I don’t see that being the case, unless something has drastically changed in last couple weeks to lower the cut off date.

Video

Our instant analysis, as soon as we learn of the demotion: