Snider optioned to Minors

Snider optioned to Minors

ST. PETERSBURG -- Travis Snider's frustrating season took another turn in the wrong direction on Thursday afternoon when he was optioned to the Minor Leagues for the second time this year.

Snider was sent down to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room on the 25-man roster for the long-awaited arrival of top prospect Brett Lawrie.

"It's a business and a decision had to be made," Snider said. "Brett Lawrie is well deserving of the opportunity to come up here and I'm excited for him to get it. At the same time, personally, you want to be on the other end and be the guy that gets to stay.

"But those are the decisions that aren't in my control and I just look to keep getting better."

Snider suffered a similar fate earlier this season when he was demoted in late April following a disappointing start to the year.

The 23-year-old returned to the Majors on July 4 and responded with an impressive run at the plate. Snider hit .357 (20-for-56) with two home runs, 17 RBIs and nine doubles in his first 13 games.

Since then, he went into a bit of a slump and was batting just .136 (6-for-44) with one RBI and one extra-base hit in his past 11 contests.

The problems at the plate are somewhat similar to what he was experiencing at the beginning of the year, when Snider found himself a little too far out in front of pitches with his swing.

"Even last night, when he flew out, he was seemingly coming out of the box early," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said Thursday morning. "Front side pulling off the ball and it leaves him with that one-handed swing, rather than when he is hitting from a good, solid, firm base.

"Then he is able to stay through the strike zone with his swing two-handed and put more authority into the swing and driving the baseball."

Snider will now return to Las Vegas, where he played 49 games earlier this year and hit .333 with two home runs and 29 RBIs. He will continue working with 51s hitting coach Chad Mottola as the two look to find the type of success that made Snider one of the club's top prospects.

It marks the fourth time in four years that Snider has been sent back to the Minors. Snider put on a brave face in front of the media following the latest setback but one has to wonder what type of impact that has had on the young left fielder.

"I wouldn't say it gets easier," said Snider, who has hit .225 with three home runs and 30 RBIs in 49 games this season. "As a competitor, you never want to hear somebody tell you you're not good enough to be on a team -- when I feel like I've helped this team win some ballgames.

"But at the same time I try to keep it all in perspective, as a young man it's part of maturing, understanding what you can control and what you can't."