TORONTO -- Outfielder Travis Snider often found himself being held
out of the lineup last season when the opposing team had a
left-hander on the mound.
The native of Kirkland, Wash., was in a similar situation again on
Saturday afternoon when he was on the bench with Minnesota's
Francisco Liriano getting the start.
Blue Jays manager John Farrell said that, while Liriano's presence did
play a factor, it's not going to be the case all season.
"It's not going to be every left-hander, because we think Travis
has the ability to hit any pitcher in this league," Farrell said.
Farrell also added there were a number of factors at play when
deciding to rest Snider, who is hitting .246 against lefties in 114 career
at-bats. The 23-year-old had some nagging soreness
in his lower back, and sitting him was a way to give playing time to bench
player Jayson Nix, who entered the game 3-for-8 against Liriano.
Farrell is a proponent of going with the numbers and will look to
exploit matchups throughout the course of the season. It's a
strategy that will also enable him to find playing time for
Toronto's reserve players.
"There are going to be certain matchups that I think are more
advantageous to us that we'll pick those spots," Farrell said.
"But I think it's important to have some consistency in the lineup,
and yet you have to balance out to make sure guys are involved and
"So, one, they feel like they're contributing and two, when you
call upon them, they have more of a chance to be productive."