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.

Comments (53)

  1. Snider? I hardly know her!

    Willing to give AA the benefit of the doubt here, but it’s gonna be painful watching Rivera saunter over to fly balls in Left Field.

  2. “Anthopoulos compares Snider to Alex Gordon.”

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!

  3. I’m less upset about this knowing it wasn’t about numbers, but mechanics. In fairness, Snider has hit like one ball the other way all year, and his strength is supposed to be his ability to drive the ball to all fields.

    Also, the Cooper callup was surprising but AA’s reasoning seems very sound. Plate discipline is good.

  4. If he’s actually telling the truth (about it not being a disciplinary move), that’s a load of shit.

    How is going down to AAA (inferior coaching, I presume) going to help with swing changes? The time for swing changes is in the fucking offseason.

    And can anybody ask him how this slump is different than the one from last April which he eventually got out of?

  5. Ty, Travis Snider drilled a line drive to LF yesterday that was caught. He’s been driving the ball to all fields for about a week now.

  6. Fullmer Fan: this is what Wilner tweeter from the call…

    “AA: Snider not staying closed, driving through ball. So strong that had some success, though. Last April, no concerns with swing. #bluejays”

    So evidently they do believe this is different from last year.

  7. I can’t really agree or disagree because I’m not a scout but I see no reason not to take their word for it. It’s totally fair to disagree with the move but I don’t think they’re lying about their reasoning.

  8. Did anyone ask AA about the risks to the defense by allowing Juan Rivera who is very slow to get regular playing time in LF?

    Will we see a repeat of what happened in Boston with Jesse Litsch?

    E5 is trying to break the record for errors thrown by a 3B.

    I think the jays are weaker with e5 & Rivera in the field than Snider’s poor plate performance.

  9. It is different. He didn’t swing like this last year, even when he was slumping. There’s no power. His last two fly outs yesterday were squared up and went nowhere because his body wasn’t behind the swing, it was leading. This is basic stuff.

    It certainly isn’t disciplinary. It’s not the coaching that will fix it, it’s the pressure and competition. When he comes back with a fixed swing, the question will be whether he continues to hit, and if he doesn’t, will the mechanical problem sneak back – then you’ve gained nothing.

    It’s like he’s leaving his bat back to protect the strike zone and becoming a slap hitter.

  10. Development Shmevelopment

  11. AAA is the best place for Snider to work out his swing issues and the team has an obligation to win as many games as possible, but I guess the major league rotation is the place for Jo-Jo to find himself, results be damned.

    Oh yeah, options. The almighty options.

  12. They’re going to put Loewen in left and convert Snider to a starter based on the strength of his arm from left. I think it makes sense.

  13. It could all go back to the “AA is a man of his word” and the “Blue Jay Way” type bullshit they fed us as to why Buck got all that playing time. They may have just promised Davis/Patterson/Pods, etc. playing time and are now forced to eat their words.

  14. It could all go back to the “AA is a man of his word” and the “Blue Jay Way” type bullshit they fed us as to why Buck got all that playing time. They may have just promised Davis/Patterson/Pods, etc. playing time and are now forced to eat their words”

    I think they promised E5 he would get regular at bats in 2011 as DH or 3B.
    Nix is hurt, so E5 gets to play every day. Problem is his throws to 1B result in very costly errors.

    Rivera in LF is very bad for defense. Hopefully Davis will help cover LF.

    AA’s responsibility to win games does nor apply when the weak defense or Reyes blows games.

    We saw this happen in Texas with 6 unearned runs due to errors by E5 & Reyes hitting batters.

    AA’s micromanaging Reyes because of options costs games.

  15. ^^ I highly doubt there were any promises made to patterson or pods – and frankly I am thrilled that davis is back, I believe he is a future piece in CF. watching him field is night and day compared to Vernon. Before he went down he was playing great baseball.

    Its not like Patterson or Pods had any other options when it came to major league clubs. Snider has a lot less pressure to fix out kinks in his swing at AAA then in the majors. The fact that the competition is of weaker quality is exactly why you do it not why you don’t do it. If you are forced to catch up to Verlander’s heat or deal with Price dominating as a lefty, your attempts to fix your swing are going to be further struggles against elite competition and the pressure of a fan base.

  16. A trip to Vegas helped EE last year, maybe he should take another run at the roulette wheel.

  17. I think thats what bothers me most. on one hand you want to win games and snider is underachieving. fine. I can accept that. IF you start puting the best team on the field.. That means Lawrie at 3rd and Jo Jo reyes on a bus to pittsburgh

  18. We can all see Snider wants to win and help the team win very badly and I think that is getting in the way of him making the changes at the Major league level. Sometimes you have to take a step back to take a step forward. yes yes yes he has gone down already before but not for this particular problem.

    I really don’t see how this hurts snider to go down and work on his swing as long as he has the right attitude about it. So he’s there for a month still plenty of playing time if he comes up after that.

  19. AA is and the organization are still evaluating Jo-Jo Reyes…I’m not entirely sure what’s left to evaluate? Maybe he can set a new record for most unearned runs allowed in a start. Very frustrating to keep Reyes on the MLB roster, watching start after shaky, sloppy, command-lacking start, he is not part of the future of this team, and push Snider down to AAA. The media conference really doesn’t answer my questions…

  20. snider sucks badly im happy he is gone. juan rivera is starting to step up his game but playing in the outfield im really concerned about. E5 needs to fuck off as well im sick of this shit. BRING BRETT L UP enough already lets put this trade to use. JOJO reyes what a slow boring pitcher to watch its pathethic

  21. Despite Lawrie’s solid offensive stats right now at AAA, there is a reason is name isn’t even mentioned to come up yet. The 6 Errors and a 20:4(BB:K) ratio are not telling signs of immediate success in the big leagues.

  22. i here yah but 3 of those errors were not even really deserved i watched them hes fine. hes cocky this guy is ready and your telling me E5 is any better come on. i cant stand watching this team rotating everyone on the 3bag its a complete joke this position for us’

  23. @adam – Brett Lawrie won’t be coming up for a while. His fielding still needs work. In 20 games, he has committed 6 errors. The Show isn’t the place to be learning a new position at such a young age. E5 does suck in the field, but with both Nix and Hill injured (causing MacDonald to play 2B) there are no other real alternatives.

  24. how can you say E5 doesnt suck in the field his name is E5 you must not be going to any games this year im a saeson ticket holder i see first hand bud. GIve the fans somthing to look forward too.

  25. Funny…why didn’t you ask him yourself? Or were you hiding in a corner while listening in to the real pros ask the questions? coward.

  26. dear opposing teams,

    please avoid hitting the ball to the left side of the field.

    sincerely,
    jays fans

  27. Lovin’ the conspiracy theories! Yah, Snider looks like a real trouble maker. All blushy and shit like his Mom just caught him with a Playboy. Surely a real bad apple (cheeks). Come on people, he’s getting maybe 3 hits a week with only one homer so far. This is tough love. If they didn’t care about him they’d let him spiral out of control in the majors. This guy’s career is far from over. As for E5, yeah, I get it. He’s bad defensively. We all know this. We need to keep his bat in the lineup somehow, though. Do we trade for a 3B? If so, would someone please make a reasonable suggestion here. Is bringing up Lawrie our only solution? What’s his nickname gonna be after he makes 6 errors in his first dozen starts? I’d ask you guys to relax but that would kill the entertainment factor!

  28. I honestly think if you want Snider to start spraying the ball all over the field, then the guy to teach him that is not Dwayne fucking Murphy.

  29. I agree dwayne murphy is a fucking joke. And yah who are we going to trade E5 for no one wants this guy he can barely field and hit this guy is just scraping bye in the majors

  30. What a surprise: a bunch of drama queen Toronto fans getting all bent out of shape….

  31. Hang on! The same Dwayne Murphy that taught JBau, a former bench warmer for the Pirates, to hit 50+ HR’s is a fucking joke as a hitting coach? Now that’s a joke!

  32. And you’d be a fan of…?

  33. “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.”

    I love how you think your opinion is actually relevant. You are a FAN, you know next to nothing compared to AA and Farrell, so because something SEEMS like the opposite to you, be rest assured, it fucking isn’t.

  34. “I love how you think your opinion is actually relevant. You are a FAN, you know next to nothing compared to AA and Farrell, so because something SEEMS like the opposite to you, be rest assured, it fucking isn’t.”

    Because managers and GMs have never made huge mistakes before, right?

    Talk about an appeal to authority.

  35. I think Reyes would be gone by now if Cecil had his shit together. But alas, we’re stuck with him until one of Cecil or Stewart force their way up.

  36. Mike, right on. Parkes…we visit for the links and news, not your opinions. Keep it pleasant.

  37. Cecil had a bad spring and wasn’t ready yet. JoJo shouldn’t be here yet either. Why not start Scrabble/Mills at least as a fill-in for now?

  38. If I want news I buy a newspaper. I only come here for opinions.

  39. It was obvious that Snider wasn’t getting any better in the most recent at-bats, no matter how optimistic the 5-game hit streak. I don’t we should hold any illusions to how he was on the verge of snapping out of his recent slump.

    AA’s reasoning seems logical and reasonable despite Parkes’ criticism. His swing was certainly better last year and if it’s all about mechanics, Snider can work at his pace in AAA and still be able to both experiment and hit the cover off the ball and succeed.

  40. whats the point so he can come back up and struggle yet again. if anything bring all the young guys up just like the florida marlins have been doing on and off for years its a great way to develop players and lose the bums dont yout think?

  41. Yah. The Marlins have really been rippin’ it up lately.

  42. Re. Parkes’ point about bad habits being easier to keep up at AAA, I would imagine it’s the opposite. If they’re sending Snider down to work on basic mechanics, they won’t care about how many doubles he hits, but simply what his swing looks like. I would imagine, and I’m just speculating, that when you’re dealing with easier pitching it’s a lot less tempting to fall into bad habits. If it’s not about numbers, he won’t be able to hide bad habits behind inflated numbers at AAA, because they won’t care so much about those numbers.

    This is, after all, a habit he picked up while facing major league pitching. It’s not as if he’s been swinging like this since his last demotion.

  43. Nail on the head, The Bag!

  44. When you want to tinker with the engine in your car you do it in the garage, not during the Indy 500.

  45. @The Bag, agreed.

    I would further add that at AAA, while working on his swing, Snider can probably achieve success more consistently and develop his swing at a faster rate than working on his swing and battling major-league calibre pitching.

  46. linz your a beauty more girls need to take lessons from you lol

  47. Snider is an upper-cutting pull hitter. This is what Dwayne Murphy teaches but with Snider it’s not working. Maybe they just want him to spend some time with a different hitting instructor and maybe Murph needs to adjust his thinking when it comes to Apple Cheeks in the meantime.

  48. Maybe this has to do with trying to show other temas that Rivera can play left field, in an effort to trade him?

  49. Kaberle-esque. Anyone want to assemble the ALL APPLE CHEEKS TEAM!

  50. Its not about “trying”. In fact he’s probably trying too hard. A tight muscle is a slow muscle. I also saw Travis flying open to compensate for the fact that he felt guys were trying to get him out with the high hard one. Travis needs to relax. As long as he’s worried about outcome he will try too hard and progress will be slower. In the minors, he’s not worried about outcome and can relax and get the swing down. He will discover that by relaxing and staying back, his bat actually becomes quicker and he will be able to catch up to the high heat. Its too bad it came to this, but it will be a positive in the end.

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