Last week the Blue Jays demoted Travis Snider to Triple-A after he hit just .184 in 25 games, with general manager Alex Anthopoulos explaining that they wanted the 23-year-old outfielder to work on his swing mechanics “and get back to what made him successful.”
Not that a week’s worth of action proves anything either way, but Snider has responded well to the demotion by hitting .524 with a 1.249 OPS and getting on base a total of 17 times through six games at Triple-A.
Also encouraging is that he’s drawn six walks while striking out just twice after posting an ugly 203/65 K/BB ratio through 208 games in the majors.
Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.
Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.
Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.