Keep calm, y’all — Chris Snyder is here …

Chris Snyder

Chris Snyder has lived in Glendale, Ariz., since 2005. And now, for the rest of Spring Training, his commute to work will be the 30-minute drive from his offseason home to Tempe Diablo Stadium, home to the Angels complex where he’ll compete for the backup catcher job over the next two weeks.

I spoke to Snyder on Monday night, hours after he signed a Minor League deal with the Angels and shortly after he flew in from the Nationals’ complex in Viera, Fla. Here’s what he had to say about his new opportunity …

On choosing the Angels shortly after the Nats released him … 

What they told us is they’re seeking veteran experience for a backup catcher, and I get an opportunity to come in and compete for that spot.

On his chances of winning the backup job out of spring, with little time left … 

Definitely it’s late [in Spring Training]. There’s definitely a small sample size to make an impression. But I’m not going to get caught up with it, I’m not going to worry about it. I’m going to go out there, whatever I’m put in — whether I’m playing in the last half of the game or starting a game or doing whatever. I’m back home, I’m in Spring Training again, even if it is a small period of it, back in Phoenix. I spent the majority of [spring] with probably the best team in the National League, and now I’m going to spend the last part of it with what’s probably the best team in the American League. All those put together, I’m just going to enjoy my time here, get to play some baseball and have fun.

On his time in the Grapefruit League … 

I enjoyed every bit of it. That’s a great organization. Mike Rizzo, unbelievable general manager. Davey [Johnson] was great. All the players, everything. I had a blast over there. There were a lot of guys there that I had played with in the past, so it was great getting the opportunity to play with them again, and I felt good. Everything was going good. I felt my swing was good, I feel great behind the plate, I’m in great shape. I knew going in that I was there for insurance purposes, if [Wilson] Ramos wasn’t healthy. And he was healthy, so I used it as a showcase to land somewhere else, and I’ll be in Tempe Diablo tomorrow.

On what he can bring to the table … 

I’d like to say experience, but if I do break camp, this will be my first stint in the American League. I’m a defensive catcher, and if they’re looking for a defensive, catch-and-throw, handle a pitching staff, handle young pitchers, good in the clubhouse, dugout, wherever have you — that’s kind of what I’m bringing with me.

On familiarizing himself with a new pitching staff in two weeks … 

I tell you what, there’s going to be a lot of hanging out in the bullpen when I’m not playing. It’s going to be just hanging out, talking with guys, getting to know everybody and once you get on the field, then that’s where you learn everything. I’m going to be watching in the dugout and paying attention and talking to everybody and trying to figure everybody out. I’m really looking forward to being there tomorrow.

On his health … 

I’ve been good to go since two offseasons ago. I had back surgery in 2011, but rehabbed with that, no issues last year, great offseason, feel great, and I’ve been playing good. Nothing I can complain about.

On whether he’s willing to start the season in the Minors, given his April 1 opt-out … 

That’s a bridge I’ll cross when I get there. … I wish I could give you something better than that, but I’m day-to-day, man.


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