Call-up catches Snyder by surprise

BOSTON -- For most minor-league free agents, being called back up to the majors is always a possibility, as injuries and performance-based moves are common. For infielder Brandon Snyder, however, Tuesday’s call-up by the Red Sox was anything but expected.

On the tail end of a seven-game road trip that saw him hit a measly .125, Snyder’s contract was selected from Pawtucket after the Sox optioned struggling third baseman Will Middlebrooks to Triple-A Pawtucket. To create room on the 40-man roster for Snyder, the Sox placed David Ross (concussion) on the 60-day disabled list.

“I talked to my wife today about [the trip] and was like, ‘Man, that was a really bad one, I’m just really happy to be home,’ ” Snyder said before Tuesday’s game against Colorado. “But then I got a call from our manager [Gary DiSarcina] and my heart kind of sank.”

Bad news? Hardly. DiSarcina was calling to tell him he was going to Boston, which Snyder said ranked as the craziest moment of his career.

“It’s a great feeling,” Snyder said. “Any time you get a chance to fulfill that dream of getting back up to the big leagues is great. But even better when you change teams, have a new environment and get a chance to do it with the Red Sox.”

Changing teams is something Snyder has grown used to, as Boston represents his third major league club in the past three years. Selected 13th overall in the 2005 MLB draft by the Baltimore Orioles, Snyder struggled in the minors before being traded to Texas last year and eventually signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox on April 1.

Snyder got off to a hot start this season in Pawtucket, hitting .324 with five home runs in the month of April before starting to slow down recently. In 16 games this month, the infielder has had 16 hits and 20 strikeouts.

Snyder can play both corner infield spots and will serve as a backup, at least until Middlebrooks plays his way back into the picture. Although there were other viable candidates, namely fellow infielder Brock Holt, in Pawtucket, manager John Farrell felt that Snyder was the best choice for the job at hand.

“We felt we needed another right-handed bat and someone who’s been in this role," Farrell said “We don’t want to bring a guy that’s going to play sparingly or see limited time, particularly a young player. Brandon’s been in this role before.”

Farrell said Snyder may be used in an emergency situation at his drafted position of catcher or in the outfield, where he started several games in his time with the Rangers.

“Whatever they need, I’m just here to try to keep the wheel rolling," Snyder said. "They’re doing something good and I’m just trying to help fill in the pieces."

Across three major-league seasons, Snyder owns a .276 career batting average in 56 games. He is the son of former major-league pitcher Brian Snyder (Mariners, Athletics).

Kyle Brasseur is an ESPNBoston.com contributor.