CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

<< Previous Article
Ahead in the Count: Ex... (04/27)
<< Previous Column
Transaction Analysis B... (04/26)
Next Column >>
Transaction Analysis B... (04/28)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Pi... (04/28)

April 28, 2011

Transaction Analysis Blog

Jays Option Snider

by R.J. Anderson

TORONTO BLUE JAYS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Toronto Blue Jays
Option OF Travis Snider to Triple-A Las Vegas. [4/28]
Outrighted INF Chris Woodward to Triple-A Las Vegas. [4/28]

Demoting Snider is a difficult decision to analyze because of the variables involved.

When the Jays pushed Snider into the major leagues at the age of 20, there were reasons to believe he could handle the advancement, like his cumulative .275/.358/.480 line between three classes of play leading up to his big league debut. Snider actually fared decently in 2008, hitting .301/.338/.466 in 80 plate appearances. Since then, Snider has hit .240/.310/.420 in nearly 700 plate appearances.

The upside of moving Snider to the minors is alleviating pressure. An aspect of Snider’s game that the Jays would know better than anyone on the outside is his confidence level. Snider has shown explicit signs of frustration during games—including snapping a bat over his knee—and perhaps the Jays feel a trip to Las Vegas—and more importantly, a few weeks of good performances—can put the troubled slugger back on his grind.

The Jays are running the risk of demoralizing Snider too. After all, this is a guy who has hit Triple-A pitching before to the tune of a .339/.420/.623 line in 274 plate appearances. Then again, it’s not like he can hit much worse than he already has (a 2011 OPS of 542). Alternatively, the demotion might be about fixing a mechanical flaw or correcting a bad habit.

An added benefit to Snider’s demotion is saving some time on his service clock. The Jays would prefer Snider to be in the majors considering, but it could prove to be a positive externality down the road. Conversely, if Snider’s assignment lasts beyond 20 days, then he will burn an option. This is the third season in that Snider has been demoted, but there is a chance his 2010 optioning lasted fewer than 20 days—thus avoiding a situation next season in which he is out of options and out of time as a 24-year-old.

Snider is still young enough to fulfill his enormous potential, but there are questions over whether he would be best served spending the entire season in the majors.  One aspect the Jays do not seem worried about is the status of the current big league team. Rajai Davis will fill one of the vacated 25-man roster slots tomorrow and David Cooper—another former first-round pick of the Jays—will fill the other.  Corey Patterson of all people could be the player benefitting the most from Snider’s demotion—yes, that Corey Patterson who also appeared rushed to the big leagues.

Whether the demotion is the right call or not is just a matter of choice for the time being, but the Jays have displayed enough prudency behind Alex Anthopoulos to deserve some benefit of the doubt.


R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

Related Content:  Travis Snider

9 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

mrdannyg

Am I crazy for hoping that as soon as they have confidence in Podsednik's health, they call him up to replace whatever role Patterson is filling on the big-league team? The Jays broadcasters and news reports don't seem to give it much hope, but he has to be a much better option than Patterson, right?

Apr 28, 2011 17:20 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

Actually, no. Patterson has been decent, if not spectacular. Assuming the Snider demotion is temporary, I much prefer the idea of Patterson as the 4th outfielder (behind Bautista, Davis and Snider) then Podsednik.

Apr 28, 2011 18:53 PM
rating: 0
 
mrdannyg

I think "decent" is generous, even for a 4th outfielder. TAv of .244, WARP of -0.1. Anecdotally, he has looked slow, and made far too many outs on the bases for a supposedly speed guy, against only 3 steals.

I'm not holding my breath for a .300 average for Podsednik, but you can't ignore that it wouldn't be unlikely for Pods to maintain a higher average than Patterson has OBP!

Apr 29, 2011 05:54 AM
rating: 0
 
fbraconi

Put me down as one who thinks the Jays have completely mishandled Snider's development. They rushed him to Toronto when he still an unpolished slugger (as evidenced by his high strikeout rates, for example) and have since shown insufficient patience with his small sample size slumps. Unless this is, as R.J. speculates, just to work on a mechanical flaw, it is another mis-step in the Snider story. He needs the chance to have his his next hot streak in Toronto, not L.V.

Apr 29, 2011 07:17 AM
rating: 0
 
Aaron/YYZ

If you believe in batted ball data, Snider doesn't appear to be squaring up the ball regularly right now. He's hitting a lot of infield fly balls and has a low line drive rate. Both are conducive to low BABIP, which makes me think that his ratios aren't far off what they should be.

Apr 29, 2011 10:14 AM
rating: 0
 
jhardman

I'm also in fbraconi's camp. I think the Jays have really mishandled this guy. I know that some of the hardcore Jays fans here (like R.A.Wagman) have probably a more educated opinion on Snider, but I've been watching him since his initial callup to Toronto and it's a frustrating tale. At this point, I'm thinking he might be better served with a trade to another organization who has a similar situation in their organization with a player whose confidence might be getting destroyed. Chris Davis? Francisco Liriano? Josh Reddick? Just throwing examples out there off the cuff.

Apr 29, 2011 07:48 AM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

The frustrating thing about Snider as a player (not in terms of his yo-yo situation) is that his power is so easy and so stupefying, but his approach is just not squared away with his abilities, leading to poor contact, or no contact at all. I blame his handling by Cito more than by AA or Farrell, as Cito truly jerked him around so much he didn't know whether he was coming or going. Also, the Jays have been mishandlilng Snider since before AA's reign - AA has to find a way to fix it.

I think Snider can prevail and become very productive if only because his talent is hard to deny and he at least seems to have very good work ethic (off the charts buffet ethics). I'd hate to trade him for Davis or Reddick and Liriano seems to be entering the tall weeds, although is a much better hope for rebounding until different tutelage.

Apr 29, 2011 12:32 PM
rating: 0
 
collins

does this move impact juan rivera at all? Or is he okay for now at DH with Encarnacion having to play 3B due to the other injuries?

Apr 29, 2011 08:12 AM
rating: 0
 
mrdannyg

Davis is back tonight, and Cooper is supposed to DH. So we'll most likely see Rivera or Patterson in LF, the other one sitting. I'd guess Rivera misses very few games at least until Nix and/or Hill come back.

Apr 29, 2011 09:48 AM
rating: 0
 
You must be a Premium subscriber to post a comment.
Not a subscriber? Sign up today!
<< Previous Article
Ahead in the Count: Ex... (04/27)
<< Previous Column
Transaction Analysis B... (04/26)
Next Column >>
Transaction Analysis B... (04/28)
Next Article >>
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Pi... (04/28)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Raising Aces: Walker on the Wild Side
Premium Article Painting the Black: Pedro Alvarez's Trip Fro...
Premium Article Minor League Update: Games of Thursday, Apri...
Premium Article What You Need to Know: April 17, 2015
Going Yard: How Bryant Can Crush
The Call-Up: Kris Bryant
Premium Article Rubbing Mud: So You Want to Trade Your Draft...

MORE FROM APRIL 28, 2011
Premium Article Divide and Conquer, AL West: Scattershooting
Premium Article Spitballing: Undefeated Angel
Divide and Conquer, AL East: An Unfamiliar P...
Span and Sain and Pray for Rain: Spy vs. Spy
Premium Article Overthinking It: Raising Arizona
Fantasy Article Fantasy Beat: Value Picks in the Bullpen
The BP Wayback Machine: The Myth of the Gold...

MORE BY R.J. ANDERSON
2011-05-03 - Transaction Analysis Blog: Rays Get Longoria...
2011-05-02 - Transaction Analysis Blog: Millwood Opts Out
2011-04-28 - Transaction Analysis Blog: Angels Activate D...
2011-04-28 - Transaction Analysis Blog: Jays Option Snide...
2011-04-26 - Painting the Black: Pitching Backward
2011-04-26 - Transaction Analysis Blog: Pirates Add Xavie...
2011-04-21 - Transaction Analysis Blog: The Brewers Exten...
More...

MORE TRANSACTION ANALYSIS BLOG
2011-05-03 - Transaction Analysis Blog: Rays Get Longoria...
2011-05-02 - Transaction Analysis Blog: Millwood Opts Out
2011-04-28 - Transaction Analysis Blog: Angels Activate D...
2011-04-28 - Transaction Analysis Blog: Jays Option Snide...
2011-04-26 - Transaction Analysis Blog: Pirates Add Xavie...
2011-04-21 - Transaction Analysis Blog: The Brewers Exten...
2011-04-18 - Transaction Analysis Blog: A's Acquire Purce...
More...