Blake Snell is really struggling. Since missing the start due to a fractured toe, Snell has just been a shell of the Cy Young Award winner from last season.
Snell began the season with an unimpressive performance against Houston on opening day as he worked six innings allowing six runs on five hits with three strikeouts. Snell took the loss in that game but quickly rebounded with three very good outings.
The next two outings against Colorado and Chicago would be Snell’s best of the season as he struck out out 24 and gave up one run in thirteen innings.
Snell was also outstanding in the start against Toronto as he gave up one hit through six innings and appeared to be on his way to a third straight victory.
Cash pulled Snell after the sixth inning and the bullpen lost the lead and the Rays eventually lost the game as Snell did not get a decision.
Then the fluke injury happened as Snell supposedly dropped a granite pole on his foot, fracturing his toe. The Rays announced that Snell would miss one start but would not go the DL.
At the time of the injury Snell was 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA and was well on his way to establishing himself as one of the best pitchers in baseball this season.
Since missing that one start Snell has looked like the Blake Snell of 2017 when he was inconsistent and spent time between Tampa and Durham as Snell has gone 0-2 with a 12.79 era. Overall Snell is 2-3 with a 4.31 ERA.
So what is the problem? Did the Rays rush him back too quickly because they had no one to take his spot in the rotation? Do the Royals just have his number? Both of these last two losses have come against the Kansas City Royals.
Is it something Snell is doing mechanically? Tipping his Pitches?
After the loss Wednesday in which Snell was pulled after three innings, Snell said he feels fine that the toe nor the layoff is an issue. The big issue he says is his ability to throw the ball where he wants. When you can’t throw the ball where you want it, the results are not going to be there.
No pitcher is going to perfect every game. But Snell has been outstanding last season, and the first month of the 2019 season. We are not used to seeing Snell struggle and have not seen this type of performance from him in two consecutive games in a long time.
Let’s hope it’s just a location issue with Snell and not something that will need a trip to the DL to fix.
One thing about Blake Snell is he is just as frustrated about these last two starts as the fans are and is working hard to get the issues corrected.
The Rays are off to a great start this season and need a healthy Blake Snell if they have any aspirations of reaching the postseason.