I feel like this is overdue, but I've hardly written at all since Travis Snider moved back up to the majors last week, so I suppose I can give myself a pass. And I realize that it's only been what, 10 days (?) since he's been back, so it's tough to just say "holy crap Snider is finally broken out and is the player we all thought he was going to be!" because that would be jumping the gun.
In reality, I'm sure Snider is going to be a stud offensively throughout his career, though I'm not a talent evaluator by any stretch; it's more about what people who are smarter than I am say about him, not to mention the fact that he's still just 23 years old. But that's not really what I'm writing about either.
Snider has pretty much dummied competition at every level he's played at throughout his whole life, until finally being average-ish or worse throughout his (brief) major league career. For a guy who has been that good his entire life, only to have struggles and be sent down to AAA in back-to-back seasons... well, it takes some character, as intangible as that may be.
If we can remember back to the Jose Bautista contract signing presser, Alex Anthopoulos started waxing about on how they want character guys on their teams; "We believe in Jose Bautista the person, more than anything else..." The Jays want their team to be made up of good leaders, smart guys, team players, etc., going forward in to the next few years in which they plan to contend.
As far as I can tell, Snider's head didn't get all big and important, and he didn't piss and moan about being demoted. Instead, I think it's pretty clear that he went to Vegas with the plan of working hard and fixing what was wrong, and doing whatever the team wanted and needed him to do in order to be returned to the bigs. That includes being willing and able to play center field the other night for the first time in his career.
I don't know if Travis Snider is finally set to break out and be the elite hitter that we've been waiting to see, but he's kicked some serious ass in every which way since returning from the minors.
Snider earns a Zaun head for his 5RBI performance last night, mostly because I don't really care for Edwin Encarnacion (despite what I wrote about yesterday about not killing myself if the Jays bring him back next year). He answered that by doing a little twitterpating with the masses (@lunchboxhero45, if you're not following him).
In other news, it looks like trading season is upon us. A couple of minor trades over the last couple days, plus an increase in rumors should have us fairly entertained over the next 10 days (which is when the deadline is). I'm expecting the Jays to keep pretty quiet over the deadline, unless they can swing a deal for a guy like Corey Patterson or Edwin or whatever, and maybe move one of their relievers to kind of clear the logjam in the bullpen, maybe with the plan of acquiring some equivalent to a compensation pick, but one who's already been drafted and may be closer to the big leagues. Then again, AA works his magic when you least expect it.
Having said that, there's an interesting piece of news that popped up on MLBTR this morning about the Jays having checked in on Padre relievers Mike Adams and Heath Bell.
The Jays have also been linked to Cardinals CF Colby Rasmus over the last 2 weeks, as well as during various times over the last year and a half where Rasmus has voiced displeasure in being in STL. With a bunch of outfielders in the system already, plus Travis Snider getting a shot in CF, plus Rasmus' struggles at the plate, and finally, the Cards' lofty asking price (they'd want Romero or Morrow+), I don't see this ever happening unless there were maybe a third team involved.
As for all the other teams in baseball, I'm pretty pumped to see what everyone does. I doubt Boston keeps quiet, which should mean that the Yankees will be doing something as well. Carlos Beltran is almost guaranteed to be moved from NYM, and there's always the odd swap that nobody was all that ready for. Then there's always the waiver-wire stuff that turns in to something useful, such as Cody Ross for the Giants last year.
Then there's the contending Brewers and D'Backs who lost valuable pieces last night in Stephen Drew and Carlos Gomez disrespectively.
It's an afternoon game today, as Ricky Romero headlines "Cool Down Day" or something like that, in which the roof is closed due to the 39 degree heat. The Jays go for the series sweep against the suddenly once-again-fucking-awful Mariners. I think it's Doug Fister pitching for the M's, but who cares really? As long as it's not Felix or Pineda, there's a pretty good shot that the Jays are winning this one.