Quick Hits: Padres, Snider, Wheeler

Let's take a look at some tidbits from around the majors on this Thursday evening..

  • Be wary when considering radar gun readings.  Former Padres GM (now Diamondbacks GM) Kevin Towers told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that the club would tinker with the pitch speeds from time to time.  Every time Brad Penny pitched for the Dodgers in San Diego, the club would dial down the radar gun to frustrate him.
  • The Blue Jays caught some off guard by demoting promising outfielder Travis Snider earlier today.  MLB.com's Todd Wills writes that the club sent him to Triple-A to make adjustments to his swing.
  • Red Sox newcomer Dan Wheeler is still working to carve out a niche for himself in the bullpen, writes Brian MacPherson of The Providence Journal.  Last year with the Rays, Wheeler posted a 3.35 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9.

87 Responses to Quick Hits: Padres, Snider, Wheeler Leave a Reply

  1. bigpat 4 years ago

    Travis Snider AAAA? Blue Jays fans have to be getting a little concerned with him at some point.

    • AJCBE 4 years ago

      I’m not. I just think he’s being badly mishandled. The move makes no sense to me.

    • He is 23 years old, it is way too early to be calling him a AAAA player. Just because he has been in the league for a coupe of years everyone think that he is older then he actually is. He has a lot of raw talent he just needs to harness it and a AAA stint could do him a lot of good.

      • dc21892 4 years ago

        Safe to say he was rushed. They had a full outfield when he came up there was no reason to rush him from the start.

        • He might have been rushed a bit, but a kid that put up good numbers in the minors and with that much talent is hard to to bring up and see if he can make it translate at the next level. He is a frustrating player because he shows so much promise but just can’t get it together yet.

          • He has certainly shown some moments in the big leagues of harnessing that talent. Sometimes it looks like he just has not been able to make adjustments, when pitchers come at him with a particular game plan. Alan and Jerry have also been pointing out how lately he was really struggling with his swing to cover all of the plate.

          • johnsmith4 4 years ago

            yep….it seems like he gets hot and kills the ball…then pitchers make adjustments and Snider can’t figure out how to adjust until he goes back down to the minors.

            How many years of options remain for him? Is this his last year of options?

        • bingo. i think his talent alone allowed him to crush minor league pitching, but his approach and pitch recognition trailed far behind. its hard to keep a guy down who mashed as he did, but the PD staff have to make their evaluation of big league readiness both with and without the numbers.

          happily, this is something the new jays regime seems to be focusing on, as they have said that each player must meet certain development criteria before they graduate levels. hope fully the next time snider comes up, it will be for good.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            but if talent alone allows him to crush minor league pitching.. is the minors leagues a place for him to sort things out? Realistically he can go down OPS 1.000 and not even make any adjustments

    • yep, but i think that point will more come when hes 25 or 26. (and even then we’ll keep our hopes up, after all, lind did not break out until his age 26 season)

  2. iheartyourfart 4 years ago

    that’s probably the coolest thing about kevin towers since trading for adrian

  3. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    lol kevin towers

  4. Sniderlover 4 years ago

    I am still pissed about Snider’s demotion.

    You send him down while he is on a 5 game hitting streak and they call freaking David Cooper. Yes, he is hitting great in AAA but he is a 1st baseman, a position currently occupied by Lind and I’d rather not see Rivera play the LF so Cooper can DH.

    Dumb move by the organization, especially when they are supposedly committed to “re-building”. Sending down a young player with tons of potential with less than a month clearly shows that.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      there is absolutely no reason to demote a 23 year old before May in a non contending year..

      Yes lets give more AB’s to corey freaking patterson and Juan Rivera

      ugh absolutely idiotic.

      • mkl_nyn 4 years ago

        It’s obvious he has major holes in his swing and they need to break it down mechanically. It’s too slow, and his front shoulder is flying open awkwardly whenever the ball isn’t perfectly placed in his wheelhouse (middle down). The last couple years he couldn’t hit high fastballs at all (probably why Cito sat him), now he’s trying to make the adjustment by standing up straighter and flailing wildly at breaking balls down in the zone. It was the right move. His swing needs to be fundamentally changed for him to succeed up in the majors, where you don’t get 2 meatballs to drive every at bat. The guy is still only 23 and has clearly been mishandled early in his career… (Guys like Howard, Votto, Gonzalez don’t even contribute in the majors until 24-25.) As long as it doesn’t get in his head too much, he should be fine.

    • grownice 4 years ago

      Clearly you hate Snider…

    • SplitFingeredPujol 4 years ago

      I don’t know that it was a dumb move, necessarily. If they see a semi-serious flaw in his swing, it makes sense to send him down and have him work on it in an environment where the pressure isn’t there to produce, but just to get some in-game reps with whatever adjustments they see fit.

      • Jason Klinger 4 years ago

        Indeed. You can’t have a guy trying to work out kinks to his swing at the ML level. The pitching is too good, and the inevitable slump that comes with figuring it out would wreck his confidence.

    • I don’t see how this shows that they aren’t committed to “re-building” (which btw, AA has NEVER said they are re-building if you’ve paid attention to him speak). They are sending him down to make adjustments to his swing and he can use the boost in confidence when he crushes AAA pitching. Furthermore, they are sending down a young guy who might be in their future and bringing up a young guy who might be in their future. How does this hurt AA’s plan of developing his young stars? One goes down, one comes up. It’s not like we’re bringing up Jason Lane to replace Snider.

      • deere5800 4 years ago

        He may not have said the actual word “rebuilding” but he’s made it abundantly clear that’s what he’s doing by repeatedly talking about the longterm health of the club, not jumping the gun on free agent signing, getting young controllable players etc. Just because he hasn’t used the exact term doesn’t mean that’s not what he’s admitted to doing.

  5. SplitFingeredPujol 4 years ago

    I really like Kevin Towers’ style as a GM, but that seems a little bush league.

    • iheartyourfart 4 years ago

      surely it can’t be worse than giving sean burroughs a contract

      • iheartyourfart 4 years ago

        or giving geoff blum a multiyear deal

      • SplitFingeredPujol 4 years ago

        They should have upped the radar gun when he was batting so at least there’d be an excuse for him.

  6. Lucas Kschischang 4 years ago

    Snider’s swing’s been terrible all year, he brought his feet closer together, which is causing his head to drop 3-5 inches, his eye level changes drastically. He’s also not following through as well as he did last year, as he is for SOME stupid reason, basically swinging with one hand now… Hopefully they get him to widen his stance, tell him to get lower, and instead of starting back, and lunging forward – telling him to start square, load back, then finish square again with the weight going forward.

    He’ll be up in no time.

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      if it was only that easy, eh

      • Lucas Kschischang 4 years ago

        If he listens to his coaches suggestions, then yeah, it is. Simple little things like that work! 😀

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      Adjustments can be made at the MLB level, with MLB coaches..

      Its not like the Jays cant afford for him to work on things, they’re not making the playoffs either way

      • SplitFingeredPujol 4 years ago

        You’re right, but I’d imagine that can be hard to do when you’re a young guy trying to prove that you belong. He can practice all day long with the hitting coaches, but when he’s in the batter’s box and the pressure is on it can be VERY easy to revert to bad habits and whatever feels comfortable.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          he struggled all of last April but then was the jays best hitter or one of atleast until he hurt his wrist..

          Only difference is the coach last year had some patience for a 23 year old ..

          Way to go Farrell! keep sending Dotel out against those lefties!

          • Sniderlover 4 years ago

            If I remember correctly, he was even worse in April last year.

            And when you’re struggling, your swing and everything else is going to look like crap. Rivera’s swing was a nightmare to watch until the last few games when he actually started hitting.

            I hate the Snider demotion but at least it’s understandable, but seriously, why the Cooper call-up? Why not Thames or even Lawrie?

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            exactly what I argued today

            it took one series for everyone to lay off Rivera and he looked down right terrible..

            Snider is still getting his walks, and looked as if he was beginning to come around..

          • i would argue that many of the hits on his current 4 game hitting streak were bloops where he was clearly overmatched by the pitch but managed to fight them off and by virtue of his strength got them into the outfield. he wasnt exactly putting dents in the outfield wall.

          • baseballz 4 years ago

            Shouldn’t this be more of a message that rushing guys who are not ready and still very young to the big leagues can be detrimental to their development paths ? If Snider had played a better LF/RF when he came up I am sure he would have gotten more consideration by Cito, but with his subpar playing in the field and batting woes sitting him became more acceptable. That said, he has been exceptional in the field this year, his arm is a definite asset now in left.

            (Let me preface this by saying i’d love to see Thames if the choice was Thames or Cooper. Rivera should not be in the field)

            The last thing I want is for Lawrie to get called up, show that he can hit while airmailing throws to first base and then have him sit in favor of Jayson Nix who can barely field better then Encarnacion. In a “non contending year” (lets wait until after this series with NY, fingers crossed) we should give Lawrie time to learn his position and not allow the fact that we have traditionally accepted that our 3rd basemen will be bad fielders cloud our desire to rush Lawrie to the bigs; its one thing to make adjustments in the big leagues and quite another to fail in the big leagues and have to be sent back to the minors.

          • Manny_Lee 4 years ago

            If you honestly think Cito’s handling of Snider (having him play once every three games or so) is better than Farrell’s (which shows that they actually want him to be an everyday, middle of the order bat), you sir are an idjut. Perhaps idjut is harsh though since it may be too much to expect perspective from people using names such as “Lunchbox45″ and “Sniderlover” for this.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            yes that exactly what I said.

            your reading comprehension skills are impeccable good job tool

          • Lucas Kschischang 4 years ago

            You’ve proved your arrogance AND ignorance in one post.

            Multitasking is impressive!

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            who are you? why are you talking to me

            sweet pic dude, you look like a real womanizer.

            feels like a bag of sand amiright?

      • Lucas Kschischang 4 years ago

        Yes they can be, but it’s less of a pressure situation in AAA – also, it allows for Cooper to come up to the bigs and show AA and Farrell what he’s made of.

        Regardless of where Snider is right now, there’s no denying that his swing is drastically different than it was last year.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          last year cooper wasn’t even on the radar.. he’s gotten off to a good start, but so have a lot of people.

          • Lucas Kschischang 4 years ago

            He’s a former 1st round pick, so it’s almost 100% likely to be to gauge his trade value.

          • baseballz 4 years ago

            And hopefully to make the case to the fanbase that we have no need to bid on another short first baseman this off season, even if his first name is Prince. (I say this tongue and cheek of course)

          • Pretty sure that Cooper was never off of the organization’s radar. Maybe off of fans because we are much more fickle, but certainly an organization that drafts a player in the first round and carefully watches their development and hopes that things fall into place.

      • $5427573 4 years ago

        There obviously more to the situation than is being told to the rest of the public. I doubt in AA’s address to the media tomorrow that extra information is going to come out, but this kind of thing doesn’t happen over and over again for JUST his hitting numbers.

    • baseballz 4 years ago

      You are right though. When he came up originally he did bat from a much more open stance which allowed his shoulders not to fly open as early as they do now. The open stance also allowed him to get lower and help the transistion of his load to his swing remain a lot more fluid. Fangraphs had a great article about how Snider can’t hit power pitchers aka, guys with good fastballs who pitch in the upper quadrants of the strike zone / Sinder needs to change his swing to account for this guys.

      I remember Snider didn’t get along with Cito because Cito tried to talk to him about his at bats and tinker with his stance which he was vehemently opposed to, so I wonder if the quick demotion was moreso about Snider being stubborn to change and the Jays wanting to send a clear message.

  7. If they are dialing them down for Penny, would they dial them up for Chapman?

  8. Manny_Lee 4 years ago

    Interesting how MLBTR does not usually make note of demotions yet mention Snider’s. Trying to get some comments from true blue jays fans huh? Why do people assume that the organization would not be thinking along the same lines of the pissed off fans on here, “he just needs time and consistent bats at the MLB level, they are not contending anyways so why not let him work it out?” Assuming they are generally bright people (which people rush to say they are for moves they agree with), they must have seen something in his swing/approach. Why is it better to let him scuffle for the next month and then when his confidence is completely sunk then send him down to work on his swing (if they have actually identified a problem)? There is a difference between not getting at-bats last year (thank you cito) versus giving him a chance and realizing he is not making an adjustment (hello breaking balls). Also, people need to get out of this mode of terming the team “contending” versus “rebuilding”. No one in the org (at least publicly) has said they are rebuilding. And guess what, there will never be a time when they say they are “contending”. It is media columnists that will use this terminology. At the end of the day, they will simply say that they are trying to get better, day to day, week to week, year to year….

    • SplitFingeredPujol 4 years ago

      Well said.

    • finally, an intelligent post regarding this.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        yes because we haven’t done this song and dance before…

        Snider struggles, gets sent down.. destroys minor league pitching in the best hitters league in the world. Comes back up with same questions. What exactly does that do?

        he is still going to have to prove he can do it on a major league level. He still needs to make adjustments to real major league pitching. None of that is going get figured out in the minors, especially in Vegas.

        This year was supposed to be about figuring out what some of these kids have, and they don’t even give him a month??

        If it was june and his power and average still wasn’t up, then ya fine, you have to do something, but at this point, it shows a real lack of patience and faith

        • Unless, they really do want him to work on something very specific. If it is just a go down there and clear your head, hit some balls hard, and get your mojo back, then I would agree with you. However, if there is something fundamentally wrong with his swing right now, then it could make sense that they want him to go down there for two weeks and rebuild his swing in a low pressure environment, an environment that does not cause him to revert to bad habits.

          You seem to be taking this assignment almost a little personally.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            Excuse me for disagreeing with your opinion..

            Going down and ‘clearing’ his head, gettting his mojo back is supposed to do what exactly? He’s terrorized AAA pitching before, he’ll do it again. He needs to get confidence that he can hit MLB pitching, and thats only going to come from one place.

            I’m not taking it personally at all, I just thought the idiotic ways of old of playing Fred Lewis over Snider and John Buck over Arencibia were over. Seriously, JO JO freaking Reyes still has a roster spot and is allowed to work through his struggles at the major league level , and hes done absolutely nothing to prove he is a capable major leaguer. I honestly rather have brad mills start. Its time to let the kids play…

            Its Sniders 3rd ‘year’ in the bigs and fans and management still don’t have any clue what they are going to get out of him because the second he struggles he’s sent down.

        • Manny_Lee 4 years ago

          Sounds like you are following the gospel according to Richard Griffin of The Star, to which I would advise against worshiping false idols…

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            no, I hate richard griffin actually.

    • daze 4 years ago

      I see notes about demotions for various teams all the time on this site… the “Top Stories” list in the sidebar has half a dozen of them.

      • Manny_Lee 4 years ago

        It was half-joking, but what you are referring to are “designate for assignment”, which is different than moving someone down. The having to pass through waivers makes it more likely that a transactions will occur, which is what this site is centered around. I believe it was a chat with Tim a couple weeks ago that he said they do not usually mention straight up demotions.

  9. mkl_nyn 4 years ago

    Cooper’s probably future trade bait with Lind at first, and kinda came out of nowhere this spring. They may just want to see if he’s for real or not. Thames and Lawrie were a part of ‘the plan’ and definitely need to work on the rest of their game before getting called up. Snider was makin’ some contact, but his swing is just a mess at this point. Don’t mind the move at all.

    • johnsmith4 4 years ago

      Seems people have written off Cooper because he struggled two years ago at age 23. Just as Snider is now doing. He showed great progress last year and seems to have put everything together this year. Cooper is hitting Left Handed pitching just as effectively as Righties.

      I look forward to seeing what he can do at the major league level.

      • deere5800 4 years ago

        I agree he’s been overlooked, but there’s a huge difference between struggling at AA when you’re 23 and struggling in the Majors when you’re 23.

        • johnsmith4 4 years ago

          need to correct info…Cooper struggled at age 22 in AA. Some may suggest he did as well at age 23….but…finishing in top 10 of a league in RBIs and HRs can’t be truly struggling IMO

          Never the less, when a young player struggles at a level not yet achieved by most of his peers (by age), then it is worth while to be patient with the player.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            He went back to his college swing last year which lead to him hitting much better .. but there must be a hole in it if they made him change it. but seems to be working for now

          • johnsmith4 4 years ago

            Interesting insight on Cooper. Thx for sharing.

  10. “Red Sox newcomer Dan Wheeler is still working to carve out a niche for himself in the bullpen….”

    If the Red Sox had paid attention last year, they would have known that Wheeler has already found his niche in any bullpen: Right-handed Specialist. He can’t face left-handed batters, yet he has already pitched a grand total of 2 1/3 innings against left-hnaded bats, and given up 8 hits, including 1 Homerun, with an lefty batting average of 0.533. Maybe they should just stick to the way the Rays used him, that seemed to work better……

  11. Hank Hill 4 years ago

    This Towers thing makes sense, i went to the CIN@AZ game a few weeks ago at Chase and the radar kept reading 95 and 96 for Chapman, no joke.

    • If that was the 2nd game of a back-to-back, it’s entirely plausible. He apparently has drastic velo drops on those days.

  12. ltdibo020 4 years ago

    Colon is throwing unbelievable and it has not just been a lucky 15 innings . He threw well in the winter league for manager Tony Pena, bench coach on the current Yankees, who liked what he saw so much, he told the yanks to bring him to spring training. Then he threw well in spring training, with that crazy reverse cutter or something. Then out of the bullpen when the season started ,then Hughes goes down and he is in the starting rotation…But I don’t hear one mention on here about him being fat or out of shape anymore…funny???…There is a rumor that he did eat another player over the winter, but it has yet to be confirmed…lol…(there I was the first)

    • SplitFingeredPujol 4 years ago

      Thanks for repeating what Michael Kay said during the game yesterday. And the “reverse cutter” you speak of is usually called a 2 seamer.

      • ltdibo020 4 years ago

        Thank you for thanking me….and special thanks go out to michael kay….all kidding aside here…I haven’t seen anyone cut the ball back that hard where it moves like a foot at 92 mph and hitters are just frozen….most of what I said referenced all the mocking remarks towards the yanks for signing colon and Garcia for small money…funny I’m not hearing that now….just yeah but can they do it over the long haul….you can say that about every pitcher in the league!…Pettite was still tough at 38 and 39??? Doesn’t make sense..

        • Have you seen Halladay pitch? He freezes left and right handed hitters with that two seemer all the time.

          • ltdibo020 4 years ago

            Its definitely an effective pitch and you can see it just freezes batters and they walk away shaking their heads….its also the control of it…if these 2 start hitting the corners on any given day they can be lights out…I agree

        • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

          of course it does. look at garcia’s splits. every single season he’s pitcher for the last three years he has started very strong in march/april and then been toast

          it’s still worth it for the yankees, as they’ll take whatever pitching they can get. but everyone knew that at the time, too. the jokes were because colon is fat. people like fat jokes

          • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

            colon’s splits*

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            sounds painful

          • ellisburks 4 years ago

            I think he might be talking about the banana splits Colon eats between innings in the clubhouse.

          • ltdibo020 4 years ago

            I agree…people do like fat jokes…

    • ellisburks 4 years ago

      He is still fat and out of shape. He is just pitching well right now. Good for him! But it will catch up to him if he doesn’t get in better shape.

      • ltdibo020 4 years ago

        He doesn’t even look like he is breathing hard…and also when he was a cy young winner he was big and rotund and looked fat…cc looks fat also….out of shape and fat are 2 different things imo…but yeah good for him…I agree

        • ellisburks 4 years ago

          The thing is he isn’t breathing hard right now but it’s been unseasonably chilly. What will happen with him when it is July. In KC. He won’t last 5 innings with the extra 40-50lbs he is carrying.

          • ltdibo020 4 years ago

            But thats why we thought it might work…5 good innings is fine…but I disagree it was smoking hot in winter ball and spring training in Florida…fact is no matter the age , weight or whatever excuse these so called ‘experts” tell us…if you can throw strikes and make the ball move you are going to be effective and 96 mph with movement…look out!!..theres been a ton of pitchers older than 38 who have had big seasons coming off injuries, who have re-invented themselves..some are going to the hall of fame…so I think the weight, weather or whatever really may just be a lot more slight then we think…for example a thin guy may feel it even more….more a factor would be if you’ve been stretched out to go deep into games..IMO…i don’t think you can say he won’t last 5 innings though

  13. johnsmith4 4 years ago

    If Cooper does well at 1B for Jays, will this put Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion in play this year?

    • deere5800 4 years ago

      I don’t see Lind going anywhere myself. His contract is far from crippling, I wouldn’t imagine selling low on him when he’s shown so much potential in the past (before last year of course). E5 can go anytime, I’ve tried listening to some of the bloggers who say he’s better than a lot give him credit for, but it’s just not working for me.

  14. harrigang 4 years ago

    As a Rays fan, I’m happy we got rid of Wheeler. This guy somehow puts up somewhat good stats, but the guy drove me insane. Every time he came in, my heart rate went up. He is not good in clutch situations. He’s prone to giving up the ‘Big Home Run’. He’s a bit of a junk ball pitcher; mainly he lobs the ball to the plate and hopes the batter doesn’t hit it.
    Have fun, BoSox fans. I believe you’ll see what I’m talking about fairly soon.

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      your clams about clutch situations are not supportable with numbers. your other claims are obvious nonsense. wheeler gives righties fits and gets killed by lefties; it’s as simple as that

      • actually…harrigang is right..watching Wheeler with the Rays was uncomfortable at best… IFhe was coming in for mopup duty..he was fine…if the game was still in the balance.. it was hard to watch.. I celebrated when the Red Sox signed him..was a win-win…

  15. I’d like to know why Cooper is being brought up instead of Eric Thames. Cooper plays first, which is occupied by Lind… so we are assuming that he’ll play either 1st or DH with Lind playing the other, putting Rivera in the OF? no thanks…

    Eric Thames is hitting just as well as Cooper, AND can play LF (which he does in AAA)..

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      AA said its because of his BB/K rates compared to Thames and Lawrie

      That his eye is simply more advanced.

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