THREE-RIVERS — The training camp is not old as of a few days, already, the Eagles of Trois-Rivières and their new ace pitcher Kramer Sneed share a point in common: they wish to keep into oblivion the summer of 2017.
For the big left-handed american of 29 years, this new start in the city of Laviolette represents a golden opportunity to restore his reputation in the independent baseball. After all, the old hope of the New York Yankees has proven in the past that he had the makings of a pitcher dominant.
He had also known of the successful debut in 2015 with the Saints of St. Paul in the american Association, tying a record for the circuit with 15 victories. After a second good season in Minnesota, the attendance on the mound have not been on the pitch for him last year, with the Explorers in Sioux City.
Nevertheless, the native of Winterville, North Carolina, landed at Three Rivers, with the intention of finding its impulses fine day not so far away. After all, the Eagles are in need of a launcher capable of accumulating victories. In the five-year history, only one has reached the plateau of 10 wins in a season, in 2015, when Ryan Bollinger had signed 11 gains.
“I want to bounce back this year. My last season was very poor and I want to find the form that I had when I was helping my team win games,” said Sneed, a product of the Bulldogs of Barton College in the second division of the NCAA.
Even if he wants to redeem himself, Sneed is, however, far from seeing themselves as a savior. It is more as a big brother that he landed in the nest he. In the Eagles, he found a familiar face since the receiver substitute Jonathan Gonzalez has also defended the colours of Sioux City in the past year.
“I do not expect to carry the rotation on my shoulders. We have a good staff of pitchers. I just hope to do my part to keep up the pace of all the world. I see myself more with a role of leader, ready to help more young people, both in the field and outside. Also, I would like to coach after my career and this is a great opportunity that presents itself to me to learn with T. J. (Stanton) and Matt (Rusch) while continuing to play at a high level.”
That said, Sneed does caress no small ambitions for much for this group.
“It may sound crazy, but I have no doubt that we can win the championship. With the leadership of the group of coaches and the mixture of youth and experience in our alignment, with players who love to play baseball, I believe that we can win a lot of games and form a very good team.”
Alongside Pettitte and A-Rod
In the course of his career at the professional, Sneed has of course worked with several players having reached the major Leagues. Of the lot, the names of Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte hit the imaginary. The two had donned the same uniform as the new pitcher for the Eagles, with the Yankees in Tampa in the level A+ for a session of rehabilitation. He keeps obviously bring back memories.
“A-Rod, this is a very nice guy, despite what many people may think. It was addressed to the team in any franchise. He was very humble with us, despite the success he knew. For his part, Andy Pettitte had given us some advice to the pitchers, left-handers, especially on the tips for pinning a runner at first base. These are two legends, so it was pretty crazy to see them in the same alignment as me. This is a unique moment in my career.”
In addition to these two monuments, Sneed is especially pleased to see two former teammates and friends roll their kicker in the circuit of Manfred.
“I played three years with Gary Sanchez, catcher for the New York Yankees. I was glad to see them at work during the contest circuit over the past year. And then, one of my good friends Tommy Kahnle is also seeing success as a reliever in New York.”
If he is careful to label Sneed as the leader of its rotation, T. J. Stanton shows himself very enthusiastic about the idea of the see to the work on the mound.
“I haven’t seen that for two workouts, then it is too early. He was bothered by injury in the past year, but we are happy he is back in form. Kramer, this is a guy who doesn’t necessarily have to be strong, but is rather focused on the accuracy. His change of speed, this is his bread and butter. If it is not the first pitcher in our rotation, it’s going to be a good sign for our other pitchers in front of him!”
For the moment, Sneed will be supported in the rotation by Yender Caramo, Ethan Elias, Tyler Garkow and Chris Murphy.
The group, Caramo still has not arrived from Venezuela, and on the staff of the Eagles is keeping my fingers crossed that it arrives in the country in time for the start of the season, on may 18, in Ottawa. Ditto for another Venezuelan, the veteran outfielder Alberth Martinez.
“I am confident that they will arrive on time. Caramo and Martinez are two guys who have the potential to be the best in the league at their position,” says the manager of the Eagles.