Born and raised in Seattle, Blake Snell of the Tampa Bay Rays was dealing in the World Series and was on the receiving end of a bad decision
Blake Snell pitched in an important Game Six in the World Series yesterday for the Tampa Bay Rays who are facing elimination. Snell has been one of the most consistent starting pitchers for the Rays in the 2020 postseason and had a terrific outing which was cut short by his manager.
Although Snell was disappointed along with many Rays fans, there is a lot to appreciate. Snell did great in this postseason and helped them get to the World Series to face a really good Dodgers team. Snell did everything he possibly could in Game Six, and Kevin Cash prematurely took him out of the game.
He was taken out of the sixth inning after giving up a single to Austin Barnes. With only 73 pitches thrown, the manager decided that his World Series was over and it did not end well. The Rays brought in Nick Anderson and the Dodgers suddenly took the lead 2-1, after being completely shut down by Snell.
Snell was born and raised in the Seattle area, Shoreline to be exact. The 27-year-old went to Shorewood High School and absolutely dominated in high school. In his senior year, he had a 1.00 ERA, eight wins, a .116 OBA, and 118 strikeouts in 56 innings pitched.
Shorewood High School has produced some outstanding baseball players besides Snell. Funny story, I played for Snell’s high school coach, Wyatt Tonkin, for one summer and got to learn from a well-respected coach in the Seattle area. Shorewood has churned out several MLB draftees including Trevor Mitsui and Ian Oxnevad.
Snell is pitching in his fifth season and already holds an impressive career 3.24 ERA. He was the AL Cy Young Award winner in 2018 when he had a 21-5 record with a 1.89 ERA. Snell was just 25-years-old when he won his first Cy Young and All-Star selection. He absolutely dominated lineups in 2018 and was pitching in the World Series like it was 2018.
When he is at his best, he is dotting up the corners of the strike zone with a mid 90s fastball. A humongous curveball that starts above the strike zone and a tight slider. In 2020, he has found a great battery mate in former Mariners catcher Mike Zunino.
There is no doubt that Snell is on track to be one of the best major leaguers from Washington state. His name will join a group that includes Tim Lincecum, Jon Lester, and a few others.
Now you may be wondering, will Snell ever return to his hometown and play for the Mariners?
I think it is a real possibility for him to play for his hometown team. Snell lives in Shoreline currently and must enjoy the PNW still.
On the topic of his most recent start, will Snell hold a grudge or a little distrust in Cash? I do not think Snell will easily forget what will probably be all over Twitter in the next couple of days. Will this significant World Series moment sway Snell’s perspective on his Rays future?
Snell is signed through 2023 on a five-year $50 million contract. If Snell continues to perform at his current level, he would be deserving of a larger contract which the Rays might not be able to afford in the coming year. The Rays had one of the lowest salaries in the MLB in 2020 and will need to pay the several talented young players on their roster soon.
Snell might be traded before his contract extension discussions begin especially if the Rays want to keep Tyler Glasnow, Brandon Lowe, Austin Meadows, and Randy Arozarena as long-term players. They are all currently underpaid for their performances and will be needing new contracts soon. And there are a few other Rays players that are on a similar schedule.
Snell is 27-years-old and would be a desirable asset for many teams. The Mariners may want to trade for him to bolster the starting rotation as the team hopes prepare to rise from the rebuild. A Snell trade at the 2021 deadline or in 2022 seems very viable if the Rays do not want to extend his contract.
The Mariners now have a loaded farm system and some of the prospects could be expendable if the price is right. So remember Mariners fans, be nice to Snell if you see him on the street. Don’t boo him when he pitches in Seattle, and send him lots of positive tweets about coming to Seattle because it could be possible.