Tag: Chris Snyder

2011 Pittsburgh Pirates Spring Training: A Look at the Catchers

Today is the first installment of a position-by-position look at the Pittsburgh Pirates camp battles in spring training.

We begin behind the plate, which was a sore spot both offensively and defensively during the 2010 campaign. Teams stole bases on the Pirates pitchers and catchers at an alarming rate a season ago. It was so alarming that it prompted Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington into making some midseason changes.

Ryan Doumit started the season as the Pirates’ primary backstop, but his defensive struggles prompted Huntington to acquire Chris Snyder at the trade deadline.

However the catching situation plays out, the production must increase both offensively and defensively.

Let’s take a look at who’s in camp.


Chris Snyder

2010 Stats: .207 AVG, 15 HR, 48 RBI

2011 Salary: $5,250,000

Snyder does a better job handling the pitching staff and will likely open the season as the starter. He has the best arm of the current Pirates catchers ready for the big leagues, and the Pirates pitchers should respond to having Snyder behind the plate for an entire season.

Offensively, Snyder offers up a little pop with the bat, but don’t get too excited about it, since he’s never hit more than 16 home runs in a season. He also puts up decent numbers against left-handers.

Fantasy Value: Very little. You can take a chance on his modest power and chance at regular playing time. He may reward you with a 20-homer season, but that career lifetime .229 average should drive fantasy owners away.

Overview: Snyder will be the Pirates’ primary catcher. Any offense they get from him will be a bonus. His job is to help turn this pitching staff around. Given the choices, he’s the right guy for the job.


Ryan Doumit

2010 Stats: .251 AVG, 13 HR, 45 RBI

2011 Salary: $5,100,000

Calling Doumit a huge disappointment throughout his Pirates career would be being kind. Entering his seventh season in the majors, we are still waiting for any glimpse of what the Pirates felt Doumit would become.

Defensively, Doumit is way below average as a catcher. He can’t handle a staff. He’s inadequate calling a game and he has a subpar throwing arm. Passed balls have also become commonplace with Doumit, as he’s not off to a good start this spring catching the ball either.

With the bat, Doumit has underachieved as well. The Pirates always were excited about what he could do with the bat, but the facts are that Doumit has only hit above .275 once (.318 in 2008), only hit 15 homers once (15 in 2008) and only driven in more then 46 runs once (65 in 2008) in his entire career.

Granted there have been some injuries, but it’s more likely the Pirates face the fact that Doumit isn’t an everyday major league player.

Fantasy Value: A trade would likely help Doumit’s fantasy value. When he gets going, which hasn’t been often enough for the Pirates, he can hit. A change of scenery could be good for a guy like Doumit. He has eligibility at catcher even if he’s dealt and winds up playing another position.

Overview: It looks more likely that Doumit will open the season with the Pirates. His versatility is a bonus, though he doesn’t play any one position really well. Within time though, Doumit will certainly be traded. It makes sense to move his salary and finally just part ways with him. 

To start the season though, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle will likely find some at-bats for Doumit, so he will be given an opportunity to produce.


Jason Jaramillo

2010 Stats: .149 AVG, 1 HR, 6 RBI

2011: Salary $97,500

If the Pirates elect to keep three catchers, Jaramillo will likely find himself with a bench role. If they only elect to keep two, then it may be down to AAA for a bit for Jaramillo.

Jaramillo is an average backup catcher. He will do an average job defensively and offer up nothing with the bat.

Fantasy Value: None.

Overview: Jaramillo is well liked in the Pirates clubhouse, but it’s no big deal if he doesn’t make the club. Even if he doesn’t and Doumit is dealt, the Pirates could still look for a No. 2 catcher that offers up a little more value.


Other Catchers In Camp

There are three others in camp, but they have little chance to make the club. That includes Wyatt Toregas, who caught 19 games with the Cleveland Indians in 2009; and Dusty Brown, who caught 13 combined games in 2009 and 2010 for the Boston Red Sox.


Key Stat

This is looking at the pitchers as well, but the Pirates were last in the majors in throwing runners out a season ago. Pirates catchers allowed 116 stolen bases a season ago and threw out runners only 22 percent of the time. That’s one area that they must make drastic improvements.


Keep an Eye on

Tony Sanchez: Sanchez is the Pirates catcher of the future and could arrive sooner, rather than later. An injury slowed him down a bit last season, but keep an eye on his progression. If everything goes well, Sanchez could arrive and be the Pirates’ primary catcher sometime in 2012.

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Pittsburgh Pirates Acquire Chris Snyder; What’s Ryan Doumit’s Future?

The Pirates had another busy trade deadline, but unlike years past, this year there were no salary dumps or accumulation of prospects. The Pirates made three trades today and all appear to be good baseball moves.

The Pirates acquired catcher Chris Snyder and minor league shortstop Pedro Ciriaco from the Arizona Diamondbacks, in exchange for Ryan Church, Bobby Crosby and D.J. Carrasco.

They also sent closer Octavio Dotel to the Los Angeles Dodgers for right-hander James McDonald and minor league outfielder Andrew Lambo.

In addition, Pittsburgh sent Javier Lopez to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for right hander Joe Martinez and outfielder John Bowker.

Give the Pirates some credit for being able to sign some veteran relievers in the off-season that they were able to turn into young arms.

The biggest move of the day though was acquiring Snyder. It also now leaves a big question on what to do with Ryan Doumit. Snyder has the reputation of being one of the game’s better defensive catchers, something the Pirates desperately need.

He should be able to help the pitching staff out as well, as Snyder is know for being able to handle a staff, something Doumit wasn’t capable of doing.

The Pirates did well with this move. While Snyder doesn’t do much as an average hitter, his offensive numbers are comparable to Doumit’s, who doesn’t offer much of anything.

Snyder is hitting .231 on the year, while Doumit is only hitting .258. Snyder’s hit ten homers and driven in 32 runs, while Doumit has hit eight homers and driven in 32. The improvement though is defensively.

Snyder is known for being a glove man and has a good arm behind the dish, while Doumit is the worst catcher in the game today. Doumit won’t be behind the plate very often (Thank God) anymore and the Pirates young pitchers will benefit from it.

What do you do now with Doumit, though? It’s a shame that his fragile self got hurt again right before the deadline or there is a good chance he would have got dealt.

The immediate plan is to make him the everyday right fielder and that is just an awful idea.

In six seasons as a pro, Doumit has done absolutely nothing to warrant regular playing time, yet the Pirates keep finding ways to get his “bat” into the lineup. What bat?

Doumit has had one decent year offensively as a pro, in 2008 when he hit .318. That same season, he also set career highs in homers (15) and RBI (69). Still very below average numbers, though.

Yet, the Pirates continue to run him out there and bat him in the middle of the order often when his track record clearly shows he’s not a talented offensive player.

He’s hit over .260 only one other time (.274 in 2007), reached double digits in homers only one other time (10 in 2009) and other than his 69-RBI season of 2008 has never driven in more than 40 runs in a season.

Not to mention he is a huge liability no matter where you put him on the field defensively.

It’s a shame the Pirates are thinking about putting him in right field. You have to feel bad for Lastings Milledge.

First he has to platoon with Ryan Church, who was hitting .180 on the season and now he will lose at-bats to Doumit. Once he started playing everyday again, all Milledge has done is hit.

When guys are on base, Milledge drrives in runs, hitting over .380 with runners in scoring position, something Doumit would know nothing about.

It’s a disgrace to keep giving Doumit at bats. Now that the Pirates have better talent, they should run their best eight guys out there on a nightly basis.

There is nothing wrong with having Doumit as a bench player, getting a spot start every now and then, but he shouldn’t be getting regular playing time.

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Arizona Diamondbacks Send Chris Snyder To Pirates, Chad Qualls to Rays

It looks like the Arizona Diamondbacks aren’t quite done with their apparent fire sale just yet.

John Gambadoro of Sports 620 KTAR is reporting that Arizona has agreed to send beleaguered relief pitcher Chad Qualls to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named later.

Qualls, a 31-year-old righty in his third year with the Diamondbacks, has a 8.29 ERA with a 2.00 WHIP.

The Rays will pay the remainder of Qualls’ $4.2 million salary this season. 

In a separate deal, according to multiple sources, including FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal and azcentral.com’s Nick Piecoro, commissioner approval is all that remains between the deal that would send Diamondbacks’ backup catcher Chris Snyder to the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

It was originally reported that the major obstacle in any deal for Snyder, are the remaining years on his current contract. 

Snyder is due $5.75 million next year with a club option worth $6.75 million for 2012 that comes with a $750,000 buyout clause. 

The 29-year-old is hitting .231 with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs in 65 games this season.

With incumbent Pirates starting catcher Ryan Doumit on the disabled list, Snyder could earn another opportunity to see everyday work again. 

Snyder lost his starting role with Arizona in 2008 when Miguel Montero filled in for him during a stint on the DL with a back injury. 

It is unclear who the Diamondbacks will get in return for their backup, however, what is certain is that Arizona will undoubtedly pay for the majority of Snyder’s remaining salary. 

These moves mark the third and fourth trades, respectively, in six days for the last place team.

Second baseman Kelly Johnson and relief pitcher Aaron Heilman are still rumored to be on the market. 

The MLB trade deadline is July 31 at 4PM EDT.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Diamondbacks’ Chris Snyder On Block, Boston’s Radar

Fresh off sending Conor Jackson to the Oakland Athletics and Dan Haren to the Los Angeles Angels, the Arizona Diamondbacks are shopping virtually every piece on their Major League roster, including catcher Chris Snyder, who has been on the Boston Red Sox’ radar for some time, according to MLB.com’s Steve Gilbert and MLBTradeRumors’ Ben Nicholson-Smith.

Snyder joins the Colorado Rockies’ Chris Iannetta, the Toronto Blue Jays’ John Buck, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Russell Martin, and the New York Mets’ Rod Barajas as a target of Boston’s catching-hungry front office.

While Buck provides the most current production, Iannetta the most upside, Barajas the most experience, and Martin the most name recognition, Snyder might be the most available option to help stabilize an injury-plagued Red Sox catching crew.

Arizona seems intent on dumping its 29-year-old backstop, whose .231 average and  sub-par defense hardly seem worth the more than $8 million remaining on his three-year contract.

Given Theo Epstein’s distaste for trading top-tier prospects, Snyder’s low price tag could easily land him at Fenway before the week is out.

If you’d like to kno w as soon as Peter’s Red Sox articles have posted, you can follow him on Twitter at BoSoxUpdate.

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Arizona Diamondbacks Finally Finish Their Chores

My four kids, like most all kids, hate doing chores at home. Over the past couple of seasons, the Diamondbacks have been much like my kids and doing chores, they just don’t get the job done. In the case of Arizona, the chore they have struggled at is getting the sweeping done.

As a parent, it upsets me when my kids don’t get their jobs done, much like fans do when their teams are able to do the job, but don’t. Even more upsetting is when their teams let another team do their sweeping job for them.  In the past two seasons the Diamondbacks have let their opponent do the sweeping 19 times.

Wednesday night, thanks to Chris Snyder and Arizona’s bullpen, the sweeping got done. As you probably heard dozens of times, it was the first time they got the sweeping done in a three-game set since they finished the job in Houston last August.

If you include the two-game sweep of San Francisco earlier this season, Arizona has completed their chore only four times in two seasons. Mostly, they have not had the chance, but even in the opportunities they’ve had they just didn’t do it.

In May 2009 against Oakland, the D’backs took the first two games, but could not beat a guy who had only started a handful of games in the majors.

In August 2009 against the Mets, they took the first two games of the series, only to have Jon Rauch give up two runs and the lead.

The very next series, they won the first two against the evil Dodgers, but Yusmeiro Petit got rocked in the final game, losing 9-3.

In September of last season, it was against the Padres. After winning the first two games and going into the ninth with the lead, Esmerling Vasquez blows the lead and San Diego wins in extra innings.

This past May, they had a chance against Toronto, but Billy Buckner pitched the final game of the series. You can guess that it didn’t go well.

In June, they had a chance against the Rockies, but ran into Colorado’s buzzsaw (aka Ubaldo Jimenez), losing 3-2, but at least making it close at the end.

Now we won’t even go over the many times that they lost the first game, basically telling Mom and Dad, I mean the fans, that they flat out had no interest in getting their chores done. Nonetheless, even with all the disappointment that these kids, I mean this team, has given us, it is relieving to see the job get done at least once when the opportunity was there.

Of course, just like kids who are sometimes bad, it took everyone past their bedtime to get it done. But, hey, you take what you can get with some kids, right?

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What Hopes Do the Arizona Diamondbacks Have in the Second Half?

As we all know, the first half of the baseball season has been nothing short of a disaster for those of us who claim the Diamondbacks as our team.

As painful and embarrassing it is to admit it now, I am one of those poor fans.

Even with the shame and disappointment of the season, this second half still holds value for me as a fan.

Now, since the team is completely out of contention, the priorities change.

There is no way that they can win the division or even get close, but there are some things I wish to see in the final 73 games of the season.



The team’s current roster does not work.

The mix of players, however individually talented, is not working as a team. There are issues with strikeouts, starting pitching consistency, and relief pitching in general.

Additionally, a once heralded farm system is now seemingly bare.

Who should go? First should be Chris Snyder (this saddens me because he is No. 2 on my favorites behind Mark Reynolds—I mean, be honest, how can you not love a guy who literally busted his balls for the team AND THEN FINISHED CATCHING THE INNING. I WAS THERE AT THAT GAME!).

Miguel Montero is turning out to be the best hitter on the team. Snyder is starting worthy and deserves to go somewhere to have that shot.

Plus, if you want a low average, defensively-minded catcher, John Hester is a lot cheaper. Moving Snyder would mean adding some young talent.

Honestly, I think a change of scenery will be beneficial. I seem to recall another very similar catcher that played for Arizona that left. He was a defensive catcher, hit poorly, but had power.

His name was Rod Barajas, and he has been a starter now for a few years. He still only hits about .240, but has hit over 20 home runs in a season three times since leaving Arizona and been considered a solid player.

I foresee this type of play from Snyder if he leaves.

Who else should go? I think that Kelly Johnson should go so that Tony Abreu can play everyday, even though some doubt that he is an everyday player.

I would let Stephen Drew go for a pitcher like Ricky Porcello, as it is rumored that is being discussed.

I waver on Adam LaRoche because of his glove. He drives in runs, but he is like so many other players and strikes out a lot.

Both have reasonable contracts for next season and have value. Dan Haren should go only if there is a great deal on the table.


Player improvement:

Without the pressure of a pennant race, the players should focus on development. I want to see my man Mark Reynolds (currently on pace for 222 strikeouts) NOT pass his previous two records.

I want to see his average end up at about .250 (meaning he hits between .270 and .280 for the second half). I want him to end up with at least 35 home runs and 110 RBI.

I want to see both Chris Young and Justin Upton end up with 30/30 seasons. I want Upton to avoid 200 strikeouts (currently he is on pace for 202).

I want to see Upton hit .300 for the second half and stay healthy. He needs to be that type of player to fulfill the expectations we all have.

I want Miguel Montero to finish the year with a .300 average or better. I want to see Upton, Reynolds, and LaRoche (if he is on the team the rest of the season) all have at least 100 RBI.

I want to see either Cole Gillespie or Gerardo Parra to establish who should be the starting left fielder of the future.

Personally, I want to see Parra develop into the high average, slap and gap hitter that the team lacks in the lineup. Those attributes would be nice combined with his solid defense.

I want to see at least ONE guy in the bullpen claim the closer job and be at least okay. I don’t EVER want to see Chad Qualls closing a game.

I want to see Brandon Webb actually pitch in a game.


General play:

What I hope to see out of the team is emotion.

I want the players to be fired up, win or lose. If a bad loss, I want to see pain and disappointment, like it matters.

I want to see grit and determination. I want to see Kirk Gibson having a tangible influence on the squad.


Wins and losses:

I know the season is shot, but I want to see the talent start coming together, especially offensively (since the bullpen seems to be a lost cause).

I’m not expecting much, but I would like .500 play the rest of the way. The team is on pace for a 61-101 record.

If they can go 37-36 for the second half, the record will still be a putrid 71-91, but it would be solid progress considering what has happened thus far.


What will likely happen:

As much as I want to believe that all these things will happen, more than likely we will see more of the same.

Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds will both have 200-plus strikeouts, but Reynolds will hit 40 home runs. However, he will probably hit only about .230. Upton will stay about .260.

I would be surprised if Webb pitches in the majors. It will have officially been the biggest con in history, as he would have weaseled the team out of over $8 million for doing nothing.

No one will take over the closer’s role effectively. The bullpen will continue to be disastrous and will set the record for futility in ERA.

The team will make no meaningful moves and not change much, which means little will change this year or next.

So, while I am not oblivious to the likelihood of continued meagerness on the field (in fact, I already am hoping for new and exciting ways to lose just for entertainment, like a sort of loser bingo ), I want to find hope and excitement about the future of the club.

We shall soon see how it goes.

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