Friday, July 22, 2011
This is Going Swimmingly
There isn't a better description of the "Travis Snider to Centerfield" experiment better than the way Stoeten of Drunk Jays Fans presents it - if a commenter or Jays Talk caller suggested it, I would trip over myself trying to shoot it down. What? Snider in center??? THAT'S CRAZY TALK!
Yet here we are. The husky kid some worried might only be DH down the road started two of the last three games in centerfield. And the results, they aren't terrible!
The ball stung right at you is really tough to judge. Snider does well to take a decent route and add the stylish "lunge-dive" at the end for style. Like all good centerfielders do.
Snider's arm and positioning drew raves all season in left after his work with Jose Bautista, will it hold up in CF?
Not the strongest throw of all time but he got rid of it quickly and right on the money. I like the way he just powered off his back leg, not much of a crow hop to eat up valuable seconds.
While this catch stretches my "highlight" credulity a little, it does demonstrate Snider taking a very direct route to a fly ball hit over his head.
Drawing any sweeping conclusions from this tiny sample is folly, but with my eyes I can say he doesn't look out of place in center. Obviously more innings present more challenges but, for now, this experiment deserves to continue. I cannot say I object to Farrell moving Snider to left and bringing in a move experienced guy as a late-inning defensive replacement when the situation allows.
Because the bat, the bat plays anywhere. It plays quite deliciously in centerfield, that much I know.
Update: - According to Total Zone fielding stats, Snider is 6 for 6 on balls in his zone as a CFer with one out of zone play. +/- ranks him as a +2 in a totally-not-worthless 21 inning sample. USA! USA! USA!
AP Photo courtesy of Daylife. Video finally prized from the cold, dead hands of MLBAM.