July 20, 2012
Jays' Snider maintains his focus
By MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency
At 24 years of age, Travis Snider is the King of Comebacks. Itís been an up-and-down roller-coaster for the former first-round pick (2006) since he first cracked the Blue Jays lineup back in 2008. When Snider was sent packing to the minor-league camp back in March in spring training, he could hardly have forecast that it would take until July 20 before he was recalled for the umpteenth time in his major-league career.
But there he was, in the rat hole of the visiting clubhouse at Fenway, a smile still on his face.
He didnít make the cut in spring training when Eric Thames got the nod and he didnít get the call when Thames was sent back to Las Vegas. Even when Jose Bautista was injured in New York, Snider had to watch Anthony Gose pack his bags for the Jays instead of him. At some point did he think the organization had lost faith in him?
ďItís a tough pill to swallow when opportunities arenít handed to you like they were in the past,Ē Snider said. ďAnd I said earlier this year I know Iím not the Golden Boy, Iím not the 20-, 21-year-old kid again, but itís a good learning process for me, a chance to grow up, a chance to mature, a chance to hopefully give somebody somewhere outside this clubhouse, or even in this clubhouse, a perspective on how you can deal with things in life, and what it takes each and every day to wake up and maintain that focus on what you can control.Ē
Just how tough has it been for him on the mental side of the game?
ďNot as bad as years past,Ē Snider said. ďIt might sound different or unexpected, but what Iíve gone through in life not only outside of baseball but in baseball prepares me for these tests that life is going to bring, whether itís baseball or injuries or family situation or whatever, itís understanding what I can control and thatís my mindset. Inner peace and happiness is not something thatís going to be affected by things that go on outside.Ē
Third baseman Brett Lawrie is chomping at the bit and could return to the lineup on Saturday. Lawrie injured his right calf in Wednesdayís game in New York. Manager John Farrell said the Jays will have Lawrie go through running drills Saturday afternoon and if all goes well he should be back in the lineup.
Bautista ďis coming along better than we expectedĒ, Farrell said. Bautista is on the 15-day DL with left wrist inflammation.ĒHeís further along right now than I thought he would be,Ē Farrell added.
Down in Dunedin, meanwhile, injured starter Brandon Morrow, who has been throwing off the mound, did not throw his scheduled bullpen Friday due to back spasms. Farrell said the back has nothing to do with his oblique injury and has pushed him back a couple of days.