Where Has Pittsburgh Pirates RF Travis Snider Been This Spring?

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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  • Zach Morrison

    I still think first base is the only hole on the roster. Tabata was really good last season, and he will only have to carry the load for two months until Polanco gets the call. I have no worries in the outfield. Oh, and the fifth starter worries me too.

    • Vinny Gala

      Fifth starter is a good point. Hopefully Volquez performs and Wandy doesn’t find himself on the DL again with tendinitis. You have Locke in waiting and you’ve gotta hope he over performs like he did last season.

      Zach, I’m going to have to disagree with you about first base. The worst case is that Sanchez is the full time guy all year. He’s a major league first baseman with some experience. He’s not going to win any batting titles but he will give you a .260 average and 10 home runs. Oh wait…that is awful by MLB standards, so I’ll agree with you to a point, but expecting someone internally to be better there is a long shot.

      I feel like the pirates are putting all their eggs in one basket. Polanco is coming along the same path as Marte, and it took him some time to get his feet on the ground when he got here. Plus, Huntington has said that they aren’t going to rush him along just because they have a need. I don’t think you will see him much before the All-Star break. There is a lot of baseball between now and then.

      • Zach Morrison

        I guess we can agree to disagree then, I love Gaby against lefties, but he is atrocious vs. right-handers. I still really want them to trade for a guy that can hit lefties (Davis or Smoak). Also, I think Polanco is better than Marte, or at least he profiles better. Marte is the free-est of swingers, Polanco has incredible plate discipline.

  • paul maggio

    I saw Snider last Monday at Pirate City. He was working on base running, coming off the third base bag. I wondered if he was still having problems with his toe, maybe just working on technique.

    • Zach Morrison

      From what I’ve heard, his toe is better.