DUNEDIN — This spring marks Travis Snider's first serious chance at finding a full-season home in the Blue Jays' outfield after failing to take last year's opportunity seriously.
"He has to play his way onto this team," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. "He's a young player, and he knows that. I told him in the offseason he's going to be a big part of this organization. That being said, he knows he's got to go out and perform in spring training."
Snider did well last spring as a 21-year-old and hit the regular season running: three homers, 11 RBIs, a .258 batting average and .480 on-base percentage in April. But he slumped in May and was demoted to Triple A.
"I went through some mental troubles that, from a baseball standpoint, I'd never had to deal with: failing and being sent down," Snider said. "I didn't know how to handle it. I didn't know how to turn on that switch every day. You watch successful guys, how their concentration never changes.
"Adjustments at this level are key. I stopped making adjustments at the end of April and the beginning of May and for a while at Triple A (after his May 19 demotion). I was reluctant to listen to some people. They were trying to help me, and I backed myself into a corner."
Now, his plan is simple: "Come out here and play, earn a spot, same thing I had last year."
Yanks: A-Rod to chat about disgraced doc
TAMPA — Yankees star Alex Rodriguez has been contacted by federal investigators regarding a Canadian doctor accused of selling an unapproved drug.
Rodriguez said he was aware of the investigation and plans on cooperating with government officials who are looking into Dr. Anthony Galea. Rodriguez said a date for an interview has not been set.
"I can't really get into that," Rodriguez said. "I have to speak to those guys first. I've just got to wait for instructions."
The extent of his relationship with Galea isn't known. Mets SS Jose Reyes was interviewed about Galea a week ago.
RIVERA ON HILL: Closer Mariano Rivera threw 21 pitches during his first mound session since the World Series. Rivera, 40, has been on a slower spring schedule the past few years.
Phils: Victorino to rest sore shoulder
CLEARWATER — Phillies CF Shane Victorino is nursing a sore shoulder and could miss Thursday's exhibition game against Florida State, the Philadelphia Daily News reported.
Victorino took batting practice Sunday but was held out of throwing drills as a precaution.
"He's got a little soreness," manager Charlie Manuel told the newspaper. "He had it when he first came in to camp. Right now, we don't want to throw him in our drills — cutoffs and relays and infield. We'll take it easy on him for a few days and make sure he's all right."