Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hope for The Franchise

Lost in the hubbub (but not to these eyes) of John Buck's Delgado-esque heroics and the ongoing theatrics of the AL's top power duo Vernon Wells and Alex Gonzalez (hey, we have to say these things while we can) have been sparks of life from the otherwise silent bat of Travis Snider.

Sample size alert! It's only been two games, but two doubles and a ding-dong (in memory of Jamie Campbell) give me hope that the most important bat in the Jays lineup may be starting to settle into a groove. A few points:

No player's struggles bring me more mental anguish than those of Travis Snider. His is a heavy burden to bear - he's long been seen as a focal point of the rebuilding offence, and many of us (present company definitely included) have taken for granted that he would indeed grow into the big mashing middle of the order raker that every contending ballclub requires.

Simply put - those dudes are hard to come by and are not easily replaced. And by living (and dying) on that assumption, every fastball that Snider can't quite catch up to brings on a mild case of angina.

And then I remind myself that he's 22 years old. He's learning how to be a professional baseball player on a stage where every flaw, every "not quite ready" skill is magnified. He's too good to fail. By all accounts, he's too driven. Cats that put balls into upper decks don't have slow bats; the missed fastballs are a sign of something else - and lest I pretend to be a professional baseball scout, I'm working on the assumption that it's something correctable.

Just like our man eyebleaf believes in Vernon Wells, I believe in Travis Snider. He'll figure it out. It's not like he & the Jays don't have a little time on their hands.

Fuel to the fire - The Adeiny Hechavarria Hype Machine
Since the (not so) splashy intro, we haven't heard much concerning the future and greatest shortstop (since Tony Fernandez, natch) for the Blue Jays. Until today, that is, with this beauty of a nugget from the Post's John Lott:

Meanwhile, Anthopoulos said he has received glowing reports on shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, the Cuban defector who signed a US$10-million contract a few weeks ago.

Hechavarria, 21, wowed Jays’ officials in a recent extended spring training game.

“He went 3-for-4 with a triple off the wall, a double and a single and played really good shortstop,” Anthopoulos said. “It’s only extended [spring training], but it’s pretty exciting to read the game reports. They said he made an outstanding sliding catch to his right, got up and fired a seed to first base.”

Yes, yes, and yes. More, please.


William said...

Travis Snider is going to hit. He's going to be a really good player and I'm glad the Blue Jays are sticking with him.

The Blue Jays are playing really good baseball outside of the division and it really goes to show that the third best team in the AL East is better than pretty much anyone else.

I sure hope the Blue Jays finish above the Red Sox. That would be very cool.

Aquamelli said...

2012 Playoffs!!!1

victorymanual said...

Here's to hoping the Red Sox never come out of spring training and solidify us into 3rd place in the East.

Everybody that predicted us to finish dead last can each have a big shitburger to eat!

Darren Priest said...

Yeah, the consternation in the Sox Nation if they finished in fourth would be very fun. Not as fun as the Jays making the playoffs, but you take your joy where you find it.

Having said that, I sincerely doubt the Red Sox are going to finish fourth. I can see them finishing third though -- how's that for a bold prediction?

Mark said...

BABIP=.157 He's been hitting balls hard (LD=24%) and you can tell just by watching him that those balls are gonna start dropping. The only thing I was worried about is whether he'd get down on himself, but from what I've heard from him, he realises that they'll start going down for hits and he's just gotta keep doing what he's doing.

I also loved that the double a couple of nights ago was off a LHP. He's gotta get his work in off lefties when he can with The Manager going back on his word.

Ty said...

Snider is starting against a tough lefty today, and Overbay is sitting in favour of Randy Ruiz... I love The Manager!

Anonymous said...

Believe in the Summer of Snidey! Sniderman ... Sniderman ... Look out here comes a Sniderman!