Monday, August 04, 2008

Zen Dayley: Travis would perfectly suit a mellow '09

Baseball America, an unimpeachable source if ever there was one, has raised the question of Travis Snider becoming a major-league regular next year at age 21, so why not run with it?

Playing in the bigs every day at age 21 is usually a harbinger of future stardom. Just look at BA's accompanying list of hitters who've done it recently. Snider should spend a month or so in Triple-A to start the season, so the Jays can delay his onset of free agency. The Brewers did that with Ryan Braun last season and the Rays did it with Evan Longoria this season, and last anyone checked, those organizations were generally regarded as being smarter than the Rogers Jays.

Snider moving up should at least be discussed. It might be the one talking point for next year, which stacks up as more of the same for the Jays.

Snider is up to a .261/.353/.461 hitting line in New Hampshire despite a slow start in his first month there. At the same age, Mets superstar David Wright hit .270/.368/.459 at a lower level in the minors -- a mere 14-point difference in OPS.

The biggest challenge would be finding a position for Snider after Godcciardi's big love-in with players it should have only fallen in like with. The Jays aren't locked down in the outfield for years to come, since Snider stands to be a better hitter than Adam Lind or Vernon Wells. (There's still hope for Alex Rios.)

Not to traffic too much in the phenomenon "renovating the restaurant you don't own, or spending the 200 million dollars you don't have," but the Jays could be showcasing the Pale One, Lyle Overbay for a trade. Overbay will have trade value in the off-season; there's always a pigeon team (hello, San Francisco Giants) out there who needs a stopgap solution at first base.

(Hell, they could unload Overbay before the end of the month.)

  • You have to laugh like hell than Francisco Liriano finally got recalled by the Twins and was lights-out in a win that moved them into first place in the AL Central. Jonah Keri has more.
  • ShysterBall has a nice obit for Braves play-by-play man Skip Caray, who died Sunday. It's important to keep in mind that back in the day, Atlanta Braves baseball was the sound of summer for a large swath of the United States -- even though "Braves baseball" was usually an oxymoron for many years before 1991.
  • Please read Poz's director's cut of a profile of Brad Ziegler, the out-of-nowhere Oakland A's sidearmer who still has a 0.00 ERA in 32 innings this season. Between the Orioles' George Sherrill and Ziegler, it's been a decent summer for former Northern Leaguers. (The Jays' Scott Richmond also pitched there.)
  • From the department of Just Sayin': The Washington Nationals have fewer victories (41) than Can-Am League's Quebec Capitales (43), whose season started seven weeks later.
  • A major glove-tap goes to Andy Grabia from The Battle of Alberta for regular updates during the World Junior baseball championship. This
  • Phillippe Aumont pitched in a simulated game yesterday; he could pitch in a game for the Mariners' Single-A team by this weekend.
Damn, the Jays

  • The Pirates say they rejected two firm offers for Jason Bay before flipping him to the Red Sox. Neither offer was from the Jays. Anyone surprised?
  • Pitching prospect Brett Cecil is going up to Syracuse for the final month of the season. He pitched Saturday in Double-A, so he should pitch later in the week.


eyebleaf said...

i'm still holding on to overbay's first season in toronto. he was incredible. what the hell happened?

sager said...

He had the hit-'em-where-they-ain't mojo that year... his batting average on balls in play (BAbip) was .342. That's nearly impossible to sustain for most hitters in the league.

This year, he's actually got a high BAbip again (.329). The difference is that fewer of his hits go for extra bases.

If you look at his numbers from his last season in Milwaukee (2005), he's almost back to his established level.

The Jays would be wise to trade him a year too soon rather than a year too late.

Jonathan said...

The Jays apparently called the Pirates about Bay and they asked for Snider and Marcum. What are they supposed to do with that?

Lloyd the Barber said...

I'd say Lind stands to be a better hitter than Rios. Snider looks to have the most pop of the lot.

sager said...

@ Jonathan: There's skepticism that the Jays really did call Pittsburgh; what I said last week was that it was a bad, bad trade for the Jays.

@ Ll. the B.: I won't be surprised if you are right about Lind over Rios -- and I loved that piece at Ghostrunner on First from the other day about Jays-fan despair.

Lloyd the Barber said...

Thanks Neate!