Following Blake Snell’s start on Saturday, we noted that the Tampa Bay Rays had been using him in a conservative manner since he returned from injury last season — presumably with the hope of keeping him hearty and hale for the entire year. To quote ourselves:
Dating back to his return from the injured last August, Snell has now made 15 starts and averaged 21 batters faced and 89 pitches per pop. Lest anyone think those numbers are skewed by his appearances immediately following his comeback, he’s been permitted to face 24 or more hitters just three times — and has been allowed up over the century mark (but no further than 104) seven times. For reference, prior to the stay on the IL, Snell had averaged 24 batters faced and 98 pitches per contest over his first 20 starts.
Well, so much for that. On Tuesday, the Rays placed Snell on the injured list due to a fractured toe that was suffered when a granite pole fell on his foot. He’s expected to miss a start:
That shouldn’t be too big of a deal for the Rays, who have a relatively easy short-term schedule ahead of them. Tampa Bay’s next six series will be played against the Baltimore Orioles (six games), Kansas City Royals (seven), and the struggling Boston Red Sox (six). Even if Snell misses two or three starts (and there’s no reason to think he will), the Rays should be fine.
Snell is the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner. In addition to a shiny 2.16 ERA, he’s recorded nine strikeouts per walks thus far this season and served one important reminder to be careful when rearranging bathroom decorations.