Blake Snell’s strong start to the 2019 season hit a roadblock on Tuesday after the Rays’s LHP suffered a freak injury at home.
Reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell has picked up right where he left off so far this season. Picking up a piece of furniture, though, may bring that to a halt.
Snell, the 26-year-old left-hander for the Tampa Bay Rays, was placed on the IL on Tuesday with a fractured right foot he suffered on Sunday. He didn’t suffer the injury while playing in a game, however, or even at the ballpark. Instead, it came as a result of a freak accident at home.
Snell told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times on Tuesday that he attempted to move a stand in his bathroom on Sunday. He didn’t realize the stand was in two parts, and when he lifted it the bottom half came off. The piece, made of solid granite, landed right on his foot.
The injury comes at an unfortunate time for Snell and the Rays. Last season, in just his third season in the Majors, Snell led the AL with 21 wins and a 1.89 ERA, winning his first career Cy Young Award. He got off to a shaky start this season, giving up five earned runs in six innings to the Houston Astros on Opening Day. In three starts since then, though, he’s given up just one earned run in 19 innings while striking out 33 batters. For the season he has a record of 2-1 with a 2.16 ERA.
The Rays, meanwhile, have won six of their last seven games and go into a series against Baltimore on Tuesday with the best winning percentage in baseball at 12-4. Losing Snell for any amount of time has the potential to grind any momentum they’ve built to a halt. They did get a piece of good news, however, as the injury isn’t expected to keep him out of the rotation long-term. Snell’s IL designation is retroactive to Sunday, meaning he’s eligible to rejoin the club in the middle of next week and possibly miss only one start.
The Rays called up right-hander Emilio Pagan to take his spot in the rotation in the meantime.
Snell isn’t the first ballplayer to get injured in an embarrassing fashion. Salvador Perez, All-Star catcher for the Kansas City Royals, missed the first three weeks of the 2018 season after hurting his knee carrying luggage down a flight of stairs. Last week, Boston’s Brock Holt had to go on the IL after his son Griffin scratched his eye.