Orioles' Snyder Looking To Finish On High Note





BALTIMORE—In the Orioles' perfect world, Brandon Snyder would be playing first base for them this summer.

Few things have gone right for the Orioles, though, including their plan for Snyder.

One reason that the Orioles weren't offering multi-year contracts to free agent first basemen over the winter is they didn't want to block Snyder, but he's spent a good portion of the year fighting to regain his stroke and his good health.

The 6-foot-2, 215-pound Snyder missed five weeks of Triple-A Norfolk's season with a back injury. He returned on June 23 and belted a two-run homer in his first at-bat.

Snyder, the 13th overall pick in the 2005 draft out of Westfield (Va.) High, was hitting .258/.327/.398 with 13 doubles, six home runs and 32 RBIs in 236 at-bats with the Tides.

"This season has been extremely disappointing for me, as I'm sure it is for Orioles fans who were counting on me to have a great season, but there are still a lot of games left," he said. "When I got hurt, I started to feel really good at the plate and some things were coming together. Now I need to get back and finish this off on the right foot."

Snyder, 23, theorizes that he tried to hit too many home runs early in the season, which caused him to slump.

"Definitely, I was trying to pull the ball and take more aggressive swings in counts and that's just not me," he said. "That's not why I was drafted. When I started hitting well again was when I went back to being myself."

The Orioles signed Garrett Atkins to a one-year, $4.5 million deal over the winter, and he's already been given his outright release. A spot is open for Snyder, but he'll have to seize it.

"I'm not going to say I don't pay attention. I do pay attention to who is going up and where they need help," he said. "It's not just that I want to be in Baltimore, but I want to be there and help the team win. We're not having success and it's a player-by-player thing. That's the most disappointing, I know if I play well I can help the team."

Bird Seed

• First baseman Mike Flacco, the brother of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco, was batting .400/.550/.533 (6-for-15) with two doubles and five walks in his first four games with low Class A Delmarva after moving up from short-season Aberdeen.

• The Orioles placed Double-A Bowie catcher Caleb Joseph on the disabled list after he sprained his right shoulder in a home plate collision on June 23. X-rays were negative. Joseph, 24, was hitting .243/.311/.389 with 10 homers in 301 at-bats.