Drew Silva

Baseball Daily Dose

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Slump Sinks Travis Snider

Friday, April 29, 2011


For Blue Jays outfielder Travis Snider, the 2011 season was supposed to be a breakout. He was supposed to start in left field all year for Toronto and produce big time numbers across the board. Everything was supposed to come together for the talented 23-year-old.

But it hasn't happened that way. Not at all.

Snider was optioned back to Triple-A Las Vegas on Thursday afternoon after opening the season with a brutal .184 batting average and .540 OPS. He hit just one home run and four doubles in 95 plate appearances.

The Jays will hope that Snider begins seeing the ball better down in the minors and returns with more confidence in a couple of weeks. For now, starts in left field will go to Juan Rivera and Corey Patterson.

Let's get on with Friday's edition of the Daily Dose...

* The Cardinals signed Lance Berkman to a highly-criticized one-year, $8 million contract this offseason. The money wasn't bad and the length is just fine, but baseball people were worried about Berkman's ability to remain healthy while playing right field on an everyday basis. So far, the experiment has been stellar. The risk has been rewarded.

Berkman drove in four runs in a single inning on Thursday night against his old team, the Astros, and finished up 4-for-5 with three runs scored, a home run from each side of the plate, and five total RBI. It was the 28th multiple-homer game of his career and already his third with the Cardinals. Berkman's defense hasn't been sparkling, but a 1.263 OPS can make up for a thing like that quite easily.

The 2011 version of the "Big Puma" is for real, and hitting in the midst of a lineup that features Colby Rasmus, Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday should keep his numbers soaring.

As of April 29, Berkman has proven himself as the biggest steal in fantasy drafts this year.

* Baseball's other league also saw a monumental offensive performance on Thursday as Ben Zobrist drove in ten runs in Tampa Bay's doubleheader sweep at Minnesota's Target Field. Zobrist went 4-for-6 with a home run and eight RBI in the first game and 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored in the second. The 29-year-old got off to a slow start this season, but he's now sporting a strong .916 OPS and is working on a five-game hitting streak.

Zobrist took a step back offensively last season after batting .297/.405/.543 with 27 homers in 2009, but he's looking locked in right now and is eligible at a range of fantasy positions. Patient owners were rewarded this week.

National League Quick Hits:: Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington opined Thursday that Ryan Zimmerman (abdominal strain) will be sidelined for "a while" longer … Astros designated utilityman Joe Inglett for assignment … Mike Pelfrey has been cleared to make his scheduled Friday start despite losing 11 pounds to a flu-like illness … The Phillies placed Joe Blanton on the 15-day disabled list Thursday with an elbow injury … Vance Worley will start for the Phillies on Friday night against the Mets … The Braves have recalled Joe Mather from Triple-A to provide depth around the field … Ian Stewart has been raking at Triple-A Colorado Springs since his demotion … Mets catcher Ronny Paulino is likely to rejoin the team Friday … The Nationals activated Ian Desmond from the paternity leave list before Thursday's game and he rewarded them with a solo home run … The Pirates have discussed temporarily removing Evan Meek from a set-up role.

American League Quick Hits: Indians DH Travis Hafner was a late scratch from Thursday's game due to ankle inflammation and is going for an MRI on Friday … Kevin Youkilis was pulled from Thursday's game after tweaking his hip but is only day-to-day … Mark Teixeira remains day-to-day with a banged up right shoulder … The Twins acknowledged Thursday that Joe Mauer wasn't physically prepared to serve as the club's everyday catcher when the regular season opened … Francisco Cervelli will be brought back from the disabled list Friday to serve as the Yankees' backup catcher … Justin Duchscherer will throw live batting practice Saturday in an effort to prove that he is ready for a rehab assignment … The Indians have placed promising young starter Carlos Carrasco on the disabled list with a sore right elbow … Kendrys Morales isn't making sufficient progress and will have his once-fractured leg examined by a specialist … The Yankees are worried that promising right-hander Phil Hughes has Thoracic Outlet Syndrome … Grady Sizemore is now batting .390 with a surprising four home runs in 10 games … Tony Pena was lifted from Thursday's game with elbow discomfort … The Yankees may cut Kevin Millwood, who was rocked on Thursday at Triple-A … Brian Matusz threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Thursday … The Blue Jays will call up prospect David Cooper before Friday's game … Jack Wilson is day-to-day with an eye irritation … Austin Jackson remains in a massive slump.


Drew Silva is a baseball editor for Rotoworld and also contributes on NBC Sports' Hardball Talk. He can be found on Twitter.
Email :Drew Silva



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