It’s A Shame All Baseball Players Aren’t As Fascinating As Ian Snell.


(Or, Why Ian Snell is Insane and You Should Love Him For It)

Ian Snell is listed at 5’11”, but in actuality he barely scrapes 5’8″.  He freqently changes his name, once struck out 17 batters in a game, and conducts anti-blogging tirades at team press conferences.  Needless to say. he’s an interesting character.

Unfortunately, Snell fell out of favor with the Pirates when he exploded during a press conference, calling out stat nerds living in their mothers’ basements as part of the reason for his lack of success earlier this season (I don’t really see the correlation, but hey) and later requested to be demoted to the minors.  So he was shipped along with Jack Wilson to the M’s in exchange for Jeff Clement, Ronny Cedeno and some other unimportant prospects.

The mental fatigue aspect of baseball has been long ignored, or perhaps, lain undiscovered.  Society tells us that men – specifically baseball players – are strong and infallible, and that depression and mental weakness are, well, “womanly.”  So it’s not uncommon for professional athletes with depression to hide their problem.  Ian Snell is a headcase; he has some mental hurdles to overcome before he can become the 4.3 WAR pitcher he was in 2007.  The physical talent is there.  You don’t fluke into a 17-K performance.  I mean, Jarrod Washburn racked up 9 one time, but almost 17 is twice that much.

The M’s may have pulled off a steal in aquiring Snell.  In 37 innings at AAA Indianapolis, Snell racked up a 47-13 K-BB ratio and a 2.22 tRA.  The percentage of his pitches that resulted in a swinging strike was (get ready) an unreal 13.4%.  Yes, it’s AAA, but that’s nothing to sneeze at.

So far, Ian’s tenure in Seattle has been unspectacular, to say the absolute least.  His FIP is, yes, 6.13.  No, that’s not a typo.  His K/9 is less than 5.  He has shown very little indications that he has a firm command of the strike zone.  He’s walking over 6 batters per nine innings.  It’s not pretty.

Jack Zduriencik and his crew are hoping Snell can return to his 2007 form, when he won 9 games, posted a 4.01 FIP, and struck out 177 batters in 208.0 innings.  It’s definitely a possibility, and Mariners fans are hoping it will become a reality.

But before that happens, Ian Snell may need some counseling.  And a tutorial about how to pitch in the major leagues.