Snider needs 'swing changes': Jays GM
Alex Anthopoulos isn't giving up on Travis Snider.
The Toronto Blue Jays general manager said Friday the club sent the promising outfielder to triple-A Las Vegas to allow him the chance to make adjustments to his swing. Snider, 23, had one homer, 12 RBIs and a .184 average in 25 games this season.
The Blue Jays outrighted both Snider, their 2006 first-round draft pick, and veteran infielder Chris Woodward to Las Vegas following their 5-2 win over the Texas Rangers on Thursday.
"He [Snider] certain has got off to a slow start but more than anything else this is more about making some mechanical swing changes," Anthopoulos said Friday during a conference call. "It's not about riding it out and knowing it's going to come.
"We need to try and get him to shorten up again and get back to what made him a successful and very good offensive player for us. We tried to make them up here and he continues to work on them but we also have to responsible to try and win as many games as we can."
Anthopoulos said it would't be fair to either Snider or the ballclub to have him try to work through his present funk in the majors.
"And when Travis is up there, whether it's a tight spot in a game or we're up or down a few runs or its tied, he can't be worrying about changes to his swing or try to shorten things up. He needs to make sure to get the results because we're at the major league level.
"But in the minor leagues you can continue to work on things to get them back to where they need to be and that's really what it comes down to. We could've stayed the course and I think Travis would've under-achieved. He's certainly talented enough and with his makeup and work ethic he can fight through anything but ultimately we don't see Travis Snider as a seven-, eight-, nine-hole bat…we need to get him right with his swing mechanically and it's a hard thing to do."
And while the Blue Jays GM said he's confident Snider will regain his form, he doesn't have a specific timetable for Snider's eventual return to Toronto.
"We really don't," he said. "I think once you start putting timelines on players you're setting yourself up for failure both on their end and on your end."
Toronto is expected to activate outfielder Rajai Davis from the 15-day disabled list (sore ankle, wrist). The club also recalled first baseman David Cooper from Las Vegas, where he was hitting a stunning .395 over 20 games with two homers and 19 runs-batted in.
Anthopoulos said Cooper will serve at Toronto's DH and Juan Rivera will take Snider's spot in the outfield.
Anthopoulos added the Jays did look at infielder Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., (.398 average, four homers, 12 RBIs) and outfielder Eric Thames (.373 average, three homers, 17 RBIs) for promotion to the major league club but felt Cooper was the best fit offensively.
"David was the one who had the best approach [at Las Vegas] that would translate the best from an offensive standpoint up here," Anthopoulos said.