Three games of the 2014 Spring Training schedule are already in the books, with prospective Pittsburgh Pirates starting right fielder Travis Snider nowhere to be found on any lineup card. This holds true for Saturday’s starting lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays as well.
So, what gives? Snider was supposed to arguably be the front-runner to nab the starting right field gig when camp breaks. Is that no longer the plan? When questioned, Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle confirmed Snider to be healthy following offseason surgery to repair a toe injury that plagued him last season. He’d go on to state:
“We’re just working [Snider] back … figured we’d give him some time to get his feet underneath him.”
Hurdle also speculated that Snider could see his first live action in the DH role for this Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies, a game in which A.J. Burnett is scheduled to make his Phillies’ debut.
If Snider truly is healthy, then why is the coaching staff nursing him back into the lineup? It’s a bit of a disservice to not have Snider in the lineup when he’s competing for his job against guys like Andrew Lambo, Chris Dickerson and Jose Tabata, who’ve already appeared in multiple games this Spring.
Whatever the reason, hopefully the Pirates have some semblance of a plan for what they are going to do in right field when camp breaks later this month, as this is the only large hole that remains unfilled from last season.
Vinny Gala is a Pittsburgh Pirates writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @VinnyGala.