Earlier this week, it was reported that Travis Snider has sustained a rib-cage injury which has prevented him from participating in baseball-related activities.
Blue Jays fans have been left wondering if he will be ready for the start of the season, especially as he often seems to be taking two steps forward but then one step back.
However, anyone questioning Snider’s fighting spirit and ability to overcome the growing list of setbacks he has suffered so far in his major-league career should not be too concerned. This is a young man who overcame losing two grandparents, a close friend and a coach in a two-year span during his teens.
Worst of all, his mother died in a car accident during 2007 after previously suffering major liver problems.
Although no consolation, matters at least improved on the baseball front soon after as Snider earned his first call-up to the majors in August, 2008. He made a promising start as he appeared in 24 games and finished the season with an impressive .301 batting average, together with two home runs and 13 RBI.
This resulted in Baseball America ranking him as baseballs sixth best prospect.
The following season, he started like a house on fire with a home run and a double on opening day. However, after a productive April, which included becoming the youngest player in Blue Jays history to hit two home runs in one game, Snider suffered a prolonged hitting slump.
Will Travis Snider be a full-time starter in 2011?
This resulted in his being sent back to Triple-A in May.
Showing his penchant to battle back, Snider was recalled to the majors in August and the left-handed batter finished the season with nine home runs and 29 RBI in 77 games.
The 2010 season saw Snider endure an injury-riddled campaign, including a two month spell on the DL with a wrist injury. On the plus side, he went on to set career-highs for games played (82), home-runs (14) and RBI (32.)
This is a big year for the Washington State native, who is slated by manager John Farrell to be a full-time starter in the outfield. As such, the last thing Snider needed was another setback as he prepares for the forthcoming season.
However, Farrell is cautiously optimistic that the 23 year old will be ready for the season-opener as he explained to the Associated Press: “Snider’s shown steady improvement, there's some resistance testing that he's going through and [he] is responding well to that.
"We haven't turned him loose yet as far as beginning a hitting progression, but the fact that he's making progress is certainly encouraging."
Snider sustained the injury while playing golf last week and wasn’t immediately sure how serious it was: "It didn't explode on me or anything. It just progressively got worse in 24 hours and we decided to take a cautious approach to it," Snider told the Associated Press.
"It's unfortunate but right now time is on my side and hopefully this thing is short term and we can get it under control and comfortable, back out there doing what I need to do to prepare myself for the season."
Overall, Snider should have no problems overcoming his latest setback after continually proving that he can cope with any adversity in his life.
It is this mental aptitude that separates him from the field, as he looks to finally fulfil his promise and elevate his game to the next level.