Game 121: Los Angeles at Toronto
Friendly neighbourhood Blue Jays associate reporter Erika Gilbert here, filling in for Jordan while he gets a couple of days off.
On Snider’s spot in the lineup:
Travis Snider is hitting ninth again today, after batting sixth on Friday.
When Snider got out to a hot start to the season, a lot of fans were hoping he’d get moved up from ninth in the batting order. Given the type of hitter he’s expected to be down the line, a spot in the middle of the order seems to be in his future.
Cito Gaston wanted to keep Snider in the nine-hole, though. He didn’t want Snider to feel any extra pressure.
Snider was finally moved up yesterday, batting sixth for the first time. Given what Cito had to say about the change in the order in yesterday’s pre-game chat with reporters, it’s not really surprising that Snider’s back hitting ninth.
“It’s actually out of necessity — more that than anything else,” Gaston said. “We could use an extra bat up here in the middle of that lineup to do
some damage. It’s not the fact of what I said earlier [taking the pressure off] because if we had
the same lineup here he’d probably be hitting ninth, but we don’t have
the same lineup anymore. [Scott] Rolen’s not here, and [Alex] Rios is not here, so that
changes things a little bit too.”
Raul Chavez was in the lineup yesterday, and Rod Barajas is catching today. Here’s what Cito had to say about the bottom of the order:
“Today with the lineup with Barajas back in there… it’s just a choice for me, moving back down there so we have some speed back there. [Snider] didn’t do anything wrong to be put back down there. It’d be the same thing if I put Barajas hitting ninth — he just hit fourth the other day. You plummet real quick don’t you?”
Some notes on playing time:
-Jose Bautista has gotten a little less playing time since Rolen was traded, since Bautista used to fill in when the team played day games after night games. Cito said Bautista will probably be getting more playing time down the stretch than he has since the Edwin Encarnacion era began.
-Cito on the catching situation: “We might bring another catcher [in September]. The biggest thing with Barajas is he is a free agent. I want to make sure he gets some playing time in, but also maybe play Chavez a little bit going down to the end. Next month is one off day … so he’ll probably play a little bit more.”
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