The Travis Snider Teleconference

Join me here for live updates and commentary from the Toronto Blue Jays teleconference announcing Travis Snider’s demotion to Triple A, scheduled for 9:45 AM.

I don’t think I’m too far off in suggesting that reaction to the news of Snider being sent down has been mainly negative with a few crazed individuals suggesting that this somehow marks the end of his career as a Blue Jay. Most surprising to me is that the demotion happened after less than 100 plate appearances.

  • Anthopoulos had discussed it for a little while.
  • He’s extremely fond of him.
  • He got off to a slow start, but more than anything else this about making mechanical swing changes.
  • Jays could’ve stayed the course, but ultimately Snider would’ve underachieved.
  • Snider isn’t a 7, 8 or 9 hitter.
  • Juan River will play left field, David Cooper is coming up to DH and Edwin Encarnacion will play third base.
  • David Cooper’s walk rate compared to his strikeouts is a big reason for the call up.
  • Eric Thames wasn’t considered because his eye doesn’t seem to be as mature.
  • Travis Snider is only 23. He ran through the Minor Leagues and this is about making adjustments.
  • There’s no doubt in Alex Anthopoulos’ mind that Snider will be a great player.
  • It’s a bump in the road and no one is immune to this.
  • Anthopoulos compares Snider to Alex Gordon.
  • Travis is still very confident at the plate. He still had a great approach and there were no attitude problems in the locker room. Snider is a model Blue Jay.
  • Simply problems pulling off the ball in his swing. He wasn’t staying as close and maybe running to first before his swing was complete.
  • Right now, he just doesn’t have the swing that he needs to in order to find the success he’s certain to find.
  • Snider started improving  on the swing here, but Anthopoulos believes it will be accelerated in Las Vegas.
  • With respect to young players, it’s dependent on each case. Sometimes it’s better to ride it out, but if there are things that you know can be addressed more effectively at the Minor League level than at the Major League level, it doesn’t  make any sense to wait on it.
  • Not a matter of numbers improving. He needed the swing to improve.
  • Snider wasn’t staying the course and driving through the ball. He kept coming forward with his front shoulder. Jays wanted to keep him close in his batting stance.
  • Snider is so strong that he was still getting hits despite bad mechanics.
  • John Farrell said that Snider was a total pro when informed of the organization’s decision.
  • Anthopoulos knows he’s going to be a leader on this team and he can be a great player.
  • Rajai Davis will be activated and play tonight in New York.
  • There’s no timeline for Snider’s return. Once you set a timeline you’re setting yourself up for failure.
  • Anthopoulos will be waiting on quality at bats and good contact on hard swings.
  • Jays will continue to evaluate Jo-Jo Reyes. No timeline on a decision for him either.
  • Right now, DeWayne Wise and Scott Podsednik will remain in Las Vegas, and continue to be watched.

And that does it.

My immediate reaction is one of questioning. I don’t really understand the reasoning behind sending him down to work on a swing at a lower level, especially considering that Anthopoulos himself stated that Snider is so strong he can power through the bad mechanics and still deliver hits. Won’t that bad habit simply be easier at Triple A?

Anthopoulos also hinted at the Major Leagues not being the place to work on these things by suggesting that the work could be accelerated at Triple A. I’ve stated it before, but it seems like the opposite to me.

Right now is the perfect time to work on young players at the Major League level. The Blue Jays aren’t chasing a division title or even a wild card berth. This is a team that will be lucky to finish the season with a .500 record.

From an observation point of view, it seems obvious that Snider wants to do well. He has a desire to succeed. What could push that desire to change his batting mechanics more than failure at the Major League level?

I don’t think there’s any argument that Snider hasn’t had the power that he’s shown in the past, but the decision to work on this at Triple A instead of with the big club is puzzling to say the least.