This was supposed to be Travis Snider's year. It was supposed to be the season in which he put it altogether and became the good player so many feel he can be.
But a player doesn't become good because everybody says he will be. A lot of excuses were made by a lot of people on Snider's behalf for his lack of progress. A lot of them don't stand up. The only one that does is that once he was starting to hit in 2010, he suffered a wrist injury that put him on the disabled list May 15.
Snider didn't last that long in the majors this year due to an early-season funk. He was optioned to Class AAA Las Vegas on April 29 to work on making his long swing more compact so that he wouldn't be beaten so easily by fastballs.
He was batting .184 with one homer and 12 RBI when he was sent down to correct his hitting mechanics. The team felt that it would be easier to work on the changes that needed to be made in the minors. It was said that his statistics in Class AAA would not dictate his return to the majors, but how well he was making the adjustments to his swing.
It was Eric Thames, who was batting .342 with six homers and 30 RBI and a 1.029 on-base-plus-slugging percentage for Las Vegas.
Snider had a fast start at Las Vegas, going 4-for-4 in his first game, but has slowed since. He was 1-for-5 with a double and two RBI on Tuesday, and he is batting .288 with no home runs, 11 RBI and a .725 OPS in 18 minor league games. In his past 10 games, he is batting .163 with eight RBI and a .422 OPS.
"Travis is starting to take some of the adjustments that he's worked with and have been outlined," Toronto manager John Farrell said. "He's starting to show those in games, but it's not consistent yet, and we don't want to interrupt that progression. Eric has been swinging the bat for quite a while and swinging it well.
"(Snider) has every opportunity to get back here. Travis, we still view him in the same light that we did in the offseason. The fact that he's had some scuffles here doesn't deter us from that, and we are confident that he's going to be that player that we view him as.
"I think the value in all this is how he responds. He has total control, and we don't think he's going to take this negatively. How he uses this as further motivation, yes, it can be a positive as long as he's willing to make it that."
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