Something To Pull Your Hair Out Over

Despite it being said that, upon being recalled from AAA a few weeks ago, that he would play every day down the stretch for the Blue Jays, Travis Snider found himself sitting AGAIN as a left-handed pitcher toed the rubber for the opposing team. Since being brought back up from Las Vegas on August 18, the Jays have played 25 games and there have been 4 games that Snider hasn't been penciled into the starting line-up. All 4 games have been against a left-handed starter, however, 2 of the starters (Nate Robertson and Derek Holland) have ERAs over 5.00, another (Brian Duensing) was making only his 5th career start, and the final one (Andy Pettitte) has an OBA of .273 vs. lefties this season as opposed to .249 vs. righties. In other words, perfect pitchers to get some experience against.

Now, Snider's numbers in the majors against lefties have been nothing to write home about (in only 39 MLB ABs, a small sample size if there ever was one, his line is .231/.318/.282) and if the Jays were contending for anything, then I could maybe see the logic in having him ride the pine when there's a southpaw out there. But this is a team that MAYBE could win 70 games and hasn't had a realistic shot at making a playoff run since June.

There is no excuse (except for maybe a flare-up of his back injury) for Snider not to be out there each and every game. If he would be facing Sandy Koufax circa 1964, I could maybe see the logic in giving him a day off, but when the opponent that night is Nate Robertson, a pitcher with a sterling .316 OBA against left-handed hitters this season and hasn't even been good enough to be in the rotation most of the year when he's been healthy, Snider has to be out there taking his hacks. He's going to need to face big league left-handed pitching at some point in his career, isn't the whole point of him being in the majors to do it now?

When I wrote the other day that there were more important things to worry about than Kevin Millar getting playing time, this is what I meant. I'm not sure if Cito is still upset over Snider telling him that he doesn't want his help during the game or if he really thinks that this is the best way to develop him as a hitter, but someone needs to get in his ear and tell him that this is not acceptable.

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