Snyder makes good on first start with Sox

Snyder makes good on first start with Sox
July 1, 2013, 12:00 am
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BOSTON – When Brandon Snyder was called up earlier this week it’s likely many Red Sox fans scratched their heads, unaware he was even in the organization. Snyder joined the organization on April 2, reporting to Triple-A Pawtucket just hours before they would begin their first road trip of the season.
 
Snyder had signed with the Rangers as a minor league free agent in December, but was released at the end of spring training. He was originally a first-round (13th overall) pick of the Orioles in 2005 out of high school.
 
Snyder had spent parts of three seasons in the big leagues with the Orioles and Rangers, totaling 56 games, before making his debut with the Sox on Friday, pinch-running when Stephen Drew left the game with a hamstring ailment, and staying in to play third base. He got his first start on Sunday, in the finale of the four-game series against the Blue Jays.
 
Batting ninth, playing third base, the expectations for Snyder would be low. The game he gave the Sox went beyond that.
 
Snyder, a right-handed hitter, went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Jonathan Diaz, who pinch-ran for him in the ninth inning after Snyder singled with one out off Jays lefty reliever Juan Perez, scored the winning run, when Shane Victorino’s grounder went through the legs of first baseman Josh Thole.
 
"That ain't the game right there. We had plenty of chances, all day long,” said Jays manager John Gibbons. “I think the one pitch [Jays starter Mark Buehrle would] like to have back was the one to Snyder for the double.”
 
Snyder’s two-run double in the second inning was his first hit and RBIs as a member of the Sox. It was his sixth career two-hit game and just his second career game with multiple RBI’s, both on May 7, 2012, at Baltimore while with Texas.
 
Snyder also had two plays at third base, including one on a hard-hit ball by JP Arencibia in the eighth.
 
With David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia getting the day off, manager John Farrell had the option of pinch-hitting for Snyder in the ninth with the score tied. He stayed with his new addition. But with Perez pitching for the Jays, Farrell didn’t want to go to Ortiz. And the switch-hitting Saltalamacchia is batting just .189 from the right side.
 
“Today we intended to give David a day off completely,” Farrell said. “He did come to me late in the game and said he was available, if needed. Fortunately we got to the point where he wasn’t needed. The defensive play that Snyder makes down the line in the 8th, in addition to the two RBIs, a good day.”
 
Snyder was hitting .267 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 63 games for the PawSox when he was called up. But in his last 10 games he was hitting just .119, going 5-for-42, with one home run, one double, two RBI, and 14 strikeouts. He went 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a run scored in his first game with the Sox.
 
“Having a couple of days off, I wasn’t real happy with my at-bats the other day,” he said. “ I was rusty. I got some extra work in and got my confidence back and had a good day.
 
“I think that comes more from a team doing well. We want to win and you want to be a part of that and contribute. On a team like this you don’t feel the pressure of having to do it all yourself. Just do what you need to do and what you're capable of. Do your part and that should be the way you approach it.”
 
In the major leagues Snyder, who was drafted as a catcher, has appeared in 26 games at first base, nine at third, five each in right and left fields, and one as a catcher. In the minors he has played 462 games at first, 86 at third, 79 as a catcher, three in left and three in right.
 
With Drew ailing, Jose Iglesias will play short, with most of Snyder’s playing time likely at third.
 
“I feel good and confident,” he said. “I’ve been doing a lot of extra work with [infield coach Brian] Butterfield and to be honest it doesn’t feel like it’s my secondary position. It feels like it’s where I should be playing.

“Probably these guys do a great job making you feel welcome and embracing a new guy. I’ve been welcome the whole time. To do something big like that, it was a big thing. It takes the pressure off so I got to do this and do that. Just do my job.”

“I think I’ve done my job wherever I’ve been. I continue to work hard and do what’s asked of me. Trying to play as many positions as I can as well I can.”
 
Farrell has said Snyder may be pressed into emergency duty behind the plate, if necessary. The last time he caught was last season, for a familiar face.
 
“I actually caught Koji [Uehara],” Snyder said. “I can catch. I still have the gear. It’s in the back of my truck somewhere, but in an emergency I can get back there. I’ve been a catcher.”
 
Assessing his situation at the end of spring training, Snyder looked at various organizations and thought the Sox might be his best option.
 
“I wasn’t thinking what’s the best fit. I was looking where can I play? Where can I be a part of something? Is it going to be a good organization?” he said. “I thank God I ended up with this organization because it’s a great place to play. The other stuff happens as it happens. I was having a really good year in Pawtucket and was having one of my best minor league years until the past week and then scuffled for a week, but this is the one thing that kind of got me out of it, coming back up here and kind of starting fresh again.”