Travis Snider’s Demotion: Was it Personal or Just Business?

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Could anyone have foreseen that happening? After just a mere 99 plate appearances, the Blue Jays decided for whatever reason that it was time to demote Travis Snider to Triple A.

Before I begin to speculate about why Snider was sent down in the first place, I think it was simply for one of two reasons; it was either a personal decision or a business decision.

When Brett Cecil was sent to the minor leagues, it was a personal decision. He struggled through his first three starts and it’s apparently the Blue Jays want Cecil to work the kinks out in the minors.


On the other hand, when Jesse Litsch was sent down to the minor leagues last week, it was a business decision. It didn’t reflect in any way his performance, it was merely because they needed to clear a roster spot for Frank Francisco.

So with that information in hand, do you think it was a business decision or a personal decision?

As cunning as the Silent Assassin is, I’m inclined to think this was a personal decision by Alex Anthopoulos. 2011 was a put-up or shut-up year for Travis Snider.

We’ve seen moments of brilliance and we’ve also seen Travis Snider snap his bat over his leg in frustration. He has 208 big league games under his belt, yet we still don’t really know who the real Travis Snider is.

At the same time, what’s the point of sending Travis Snider back to Las Vegas? He’ll just crush some Pacific Coast League pitching, and then get called back up and we’re back at square one.

After just one month into the season, I’d say the decision was definitely a little premature to send Snider to the minors.There are plenty of talented players who are having horrible Aprils, but that doesn’t warrant a demotion.

Maybe we should entertain the that this was purely a business decision. Whether it be a service time issue, to increase Juan Rivera’s trade value, or if there’s another trade on the horizon, these are all possibilities.

The part that really baffles me is if this move was to give Juan Rivera more playing time, why didn’t they just keep Rivera as the full time DH and send down Corey Patterson? That way, Rivera still gets his at bats and Snider stays in the outfield.

Everyone around the league certainly knows Rivera isn’t a very good outfielder, so the reasoning can’t be to get Rivera more playing time in the outfield. In my mind, that theory can be thrown out the window.


Honestly, I think we might just be over thinking what Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays are trying to do here. Although the Silent Assassin is notorious for his crafty moves, perhaps this is just the case of demoting a struggling player to the minors.

In this case, it just so happens to be a very high profile player in the organization that who has very high expectations attached to him.

Whether it was a personal or business decision to send Travis Snider to the minor leagues, either way it’s very disheartening to see him send to Las Vegas. I don’t know if Snider could have turned it around, but now we won’t get the chance to find out until Travis comes back.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.

5 thoughts on “Travis Snider’s Demotion: Was it Personal or Just Business?

  • April 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    All decisions are business decisions. When young players are sent down, it is to protect the investment.

    What people don't understand is that Snider was not just "struggling".

    He was completely lost. His 23 year old professional body is housing a 18 year old feeble mind.

    I am confident that this move is more about correcting his mental state with a sport psychologist than it is about correcting his mechanics. The latter is just a symptom of the former.


    More of my thoughts about Snider's demotion here:

    • March 31, 2012 at 6:35 pm

      it would seem that a player with Sniders' obvious potential should certainly get a longer look in the regular season rather than sent to the minors. Who doesn't like him? The manager? Thames can't even catch.

  • April 29, 2011 at 2:08 pm

    I could sort of understand the move rf the team wanted to free up the DH spot for Encarnacion by moving Rivera back to the OF. Having both Encarnacion and Rivera play the field just so that a middling prospect like Cooper can DH just baffles my mind.

  • April 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm

    Mike, while some roster moves have merely to make room for other guys I think this one was based purely on performance (or lack thereof). Better to make this decision now rather than in May or June.

    Noisyflowers, with Cooper coming up I think he gets at bats as DH, and fills in once in a while at 1B. I can't see the Blue Jays abandoning the Adam Lind First Base project already.

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