SARASOTA, Fla. - Vladimir Guerrero is sitting at his locker this morning. The results of his physical could be obtained later today, but he’s still scheduled to be introduced to the media tomorrow.
In the meantime, he’ll hit the weights and enjoy the rest of his day.
It’s an abbreviated workout today. Manager Buck Showalter and a group of players are participating in Jim Johnson’s charity golf tournament, so we’ll be wrapping up before noon.
I can hit the weights and enjoy the rest of my day.
“There couldn’t have been a better pick for my first guy coming back after four years,” Snyder said. “After I caught a couple pitches, I was able to relax and it was just like from before. I’ve done it before. I have the same movements. Everything feels the same. I don’t feel like I’ve lost much receiving or blocking or stuff like that. It’s going to be more catching and throwing. I don’t make a lot of throws from first base, so it’s been a while since I used my arm a lot. That’s probably going to be the biggest thing. But catching Koji, you don’t even have to move your glove. It’s just sitting there and he’s working spots. And he might be a little more erratic now than he will be during the season. But he’s always around the mitt. It’s a lot of fun to catch him.”
Snyder was drafted as a catcher in 2005 and underwent surgery on his left shoulder in August 2006. The Orioles wanted him to focus on his hitting after he returned for spring training the following year, which led to his switch to first and third base.
“When I came back from surgery, they were like, ‘We really just want you to get your swings. We don’t care where you play because you’re going to go back to catch. We just want you to get your bat back, get your swings, get comfortable,’” Snyder said.
“(Dave) Trembley saw me play and liked me playing first so much that he said, ‘We have a thing where (Kevin) Millar might be going, and the way things work out, you might have a chance to play in the big leagues at first base a little bit sooner than anywhere else,’ so they kept me at first and I progressively got better. I don’t know where the cut was made where they just kind of said, ‘OK, you’re done with catching.’”
Snyder grew up as a shortstop and third baseman and still feels more comfortable at the hot corner. He only caught about 10 games in high school, but that’s where the Orioles projected him.
“I think it’s worked out,” he said. “At the same time, would I have liked to be able to stay behind the plate? Of course. It’s the fastest way to the big leagues. Everybody says it. And I was a pretty good catcher. But for now, I think it’s just about upping my value. There’s a lot of things I do well, but at the same time, I’ve got to find a niche where I can help the team the most. And if I can be the guy who plays everywhere, I’m up for it.”
“It was pretty easy,” Tatum said. “For a reliever to just spot up like that was impressive. He got a couple balls above the knees and was mad. The other ones were right at the knees or on the corners. His changeup and splits were good, and his cutter’s got late action. For a reliever... you’re used to catching starters like that. He was like, ‘How was I?’ And I said, ‘That was the easiest ‘pen I’ve had to catch.’
“He’s got good stuff. The ball comes out of nowhere. He kind of short-arms it, so the ball gets on you. He looked good for his second ‘pen of the year.”
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