TORONTO -- Front offices across Major League Baseball walk a fine line when it comes to managing young players. On one hand, it has to do what's best for the team, and on the other hand, management has to ensure that the player is getting ample playing time at an appropriate level. The two often don't coincide.
Unfortunately for the Blue Jays and outfielder Travis Snider, this is a situation they are currently facing.
Going into Tuesday's game against the Red Sox, Snider was batting .133 with only four RBIs. While Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston has noted improvements in Snider's performance from his rookie campaign last season, he believes it is important for Snider to not get discouraged -- often meaning a trip to Triple-A Las Vegas is in order.
"He's looked better than he has last year, to be honest," Gaston said. "He's making better contact and he's played better in the outfield. I think he's pressing a bit right now, because he's not doing what he'd like to be doing and he's not doing what we hoped he would do."
Gaston continued by emphasizing just how tough the balance can be.
"We don't want him to get so pressed he's going to lose his confidence, but on the other hand, we don't want to keep him here if he's going to sit on the bench either," Gaston said. "He's just 22 years old, and if I'm not mistaken, [Adam] Lind didn't find himself until he was 24.
"There is still a lot of baseball left in this kid, and we're going to keep our eyes on him and make sure he doesn't get too far on the other side [of the confidence barrier]."
James Hall is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.