With Alex Cobb being placed on the disabled list, the Tampa Bay Rays have brought Blake Snell back to the majors. Why would they make such a move?
Perhaps I have been watching too many old school wrestling videos lately. However, when word came down that Alex Cobb was heading to the disabled list, and Blake Snell was coming back, I had an immediate image of someone hitting the Tampa Bay Rays starter with a folding steel chair. As he writhed around in obvious pain in the ring, music began playing, with Jim Ross screaming “OH MY GOD!!!! IT’S BLAKE SNELL’S MUSIC!!!!!”
Anyway, I digress. Even without the excited screaming of Jim Ross, Snell is back in the majors, a move that defies explanation. Quite simply, Snell has been awful this season, posting a 0-6 record with a 4.98 ERA and a 1.576 WHiP. In his 72.1 innings, Snell has issued 41 walks and 11 homers. This is not the production of a pitcher that can help the Rays playoff hopes.
While Snell has struggled at the major league level, it has been a different story in Durham. He has a 5-0 record with a 2.66 ERA and a 1.318 WHiP, striking out 61 batters with just 15 walks in 44 innings. Snell has definitely been dominant in the minors.
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Snell is not the only pitcher to dominate in the minors for the Rays. Brent Honeywell, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, has also carved up the minors this season. Between his two stops, he has posted a 12-8 record with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.279 WHiP. In his 113.1 innings, Honeywell has 149 strikeouts against just 31 walks. His time is coming, and soon.
Yes, it is just one start on Thursday. But let us not forget that Jacob Faria was supposed to get just one start before heading back to the minors. Instead, he impressed in that outing, and when Matt Andriese reinjured himself, Faria came up to the majors to stay.
That scenario could play out for Honeywell also. He has proven to be one of the exciting young arms in the minors, with his screwball being the talk of the Futures Game. As the Rays are fighting for that second Wild Card berth, it makes sense to bring up a pitcher that could help with that battle. Snell has not proven to be that.
Blake Snell’s music is playing once again. And we don’t need Jim Ross to tell us to end the madness.