CEDAR RAPIDS — When you’re 24 years old and don’t get assigned to a minor league team coming out of spring training, you can easily get discouraged.
But Gabe Snyder didn’t. The Cedar Rapids Kernels first baseman went to work in extended spring, got a call to come to the Midwest League late last week and is making an impact with his new team.
“Always exciting being in a new atmosphere,” said Snyder, whose Kernels lost Sunday afternoon to Burlington, 6-2, at Veterans Memorial Stadium. “Got a lot of adrenaline going, so things tend to slow down a little bit more. You try and take deep breaths and stuff. I’m just trying to stay within my approach, and not do too much. Use my eyes and slow things down. It has been fun.”
Snyder has a hit in all four games he has been a Kernel and is 6-for-15 overall, with a home run and a pair of RBIs. The left-handed hitter was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 21st round last June out of Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.
He was the Horizon League’s Most Valuable Player in 2018 and is his school’s all-time leader in home runs and runs batted in.
“He has put together some good at-bats,” Kernels Manager Brian Dinkelman said. “He has found some barrels, hit some balls hard. He’s an older guy, knows what he’s doing. Has some baseball instincts about him, which is good.”
“Just take everything as it comes,” he said. “Just do your best to get the call up here and try and make a difference.”
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The Kernels (4-7) saw a two-game win streak snapped thanks primarily to a second-inning grand slam by Burlington’s Alexis Olmeda. Starting pitcher Andrew Cabezas (0-1) had a tough time negotiating the strike zone in his four innings of work, walking five, hitting two and throwing a wild pitch.
He gave up all six Burlington runs.
The Kernels and Twins announced Sunday that infielder Hunter Lee has been added to the active roster from extended spring training, with infielder Joe Cronin being promoted to Double-A Pensacola. Lee, 23, was a 27th-round draft pick last year out of High Point University.
Cronin was 5-for-19 (.263) in six games for Cedar Rapids with an RBI. He also threw one scoreless inning in an emergency relief pitcher role.
In other injury news, outfielder DaShawn Keirsey Jr. continues to be out of the lineup with a hip issue. Dinkelman said he is day to day.
Second baseman Yunior Severino, who was placed on the injured list Friday, is expected to miss significant time with a fractured thumb that also has a torn tendon.
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