ARLINGTON -- Travis Snider takes comfort in knowing that his name will appear on the lineup card on a regular basis to begin this season. A year ago, the young Blue Jays left fielder struggled with learning how to adjust to a part-time role -- something he no longer worries about.
"It's going to be a great experience for me," Snider said. "I'm very thankful for the opportunity, and I'm definitely excited to get into that everyday rhythm and have a chance to see righties as well as lefties and just get out there and have a chance to help your team win every day."
This is the second consecutive season that Snider has been included on Toronto's Opening Day roster, though he was in a platoon situation with Jose Bautista to begin the 2009 campaign. Snider got off to a fast start last year, but he began to labor offensively, especially in the few situations where he ran into left-handed pitching.
"For somebody who hasn't played in that type of role before, it was a bit of an adjustment," said Snider, who hit .225 against left-handed pitchers in '09. "I don't think it's any kind of excuse for my performance, but it's something where you have to learn what to do on those off-days when you know you're not playing -- making sure you have a solid routine, which I struggled with last year."
Before the end of last May, the Blue Jays sent the 22-year-old Snider back to Triple-A Las Vegas to work on various issues. Adjusting to a platoon role was one of many factors that contributed to Snider's struggles, and Toronto will not place him in a similar situation this year. Snider is considered to be a big part of the club's future, and manager Cito Gaston wants him in the lineup every day.
"We would not have brought him here with us if we thought that we were going to platoon him," Gaston said. "That's just not the way. We'd send him out [to the Minors] before that happens."
Snider is appreciative of the opportunity.
"Coming in this year," Snider said, "it's more something that I'm accustomed to, coming to the field every day knowing you're going to be in there and getting that opportunity. I know I'm going to have some days off against some tough lefties, but I'm excited to have this chance to go out there and be an everyday guy."