Sep 28, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates right fielder Travis Snider (23) warms up on deck at the beginning of a game with the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
I could sit here and easily type out a hundred words on what Travis Snider meant to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2014.
Of I could just show one video.
How he can help – Snider provides an incredible emotional boost. Respected and loved among his teammates, Snider’s return could provide a mental refresh during the final month of a long season. As it is hard to quantify that fully, we must look at the numbers. There was not much to like about Lunchbox’s time as a Baltimore Oriole. Posting a .659 OPS and relegated to part-time duty, Snider never seemed to get on track in Camden, but it wasn’t due to a lack of success against LHP. Snider still hit well versus lefties with a .256 average.
How he can hurt – Bringing Snider back was the very definition of a low-risk move, but he can still hurt the team if put into high-leverage situations. Snider carries a strikeout rate of 26.9% this year as opposed to his “breakout” year of 2014 that saw an 18.6% rating. The walk-rate is still there at 9.7%. The numbers that may trump all others are his pinch-hit stats. For 2015, Snider is 1-for-9 as a pinch hitter with five strikeouts. While he does figure to see an occasional start in right field to spell Gregory Polanco, we will see Snider mostly pinch-hitting, making that strikeout rate very alarming.
Next, let’s catch up with one of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ offseason bullpen acquisitions
Next: The OTHER bullpen guy