Blake Snell needs to get back to his Cy Young-caliber best following an injury to Tyler Glasnow.
The Tampa Bay Rays are at the top of the American League East. On Saturday morning, baseball fans found out that Tyler Glasnow will miss four to six weeks due to a forearm strain. He was having a great season, and is a crucial piece in the Rays’ success. Tampa Bay will have to work with what they have for the time being. So far, this club has had one of the top pitching staffs this season.
Blake Snell won the Cy Young award a year ago, but he hasn’t been that player this year. His 3-3 record with a 3.62 ERA is not close to his great season in 2018. He needs to step up more than ever now that Glasnow is out. Snell is the staff ace, and can back that statement up by performing well in Glasnow’s absence. This year, players make the most contact off of him on fastballs high in the strike zone. The curveball this year has been hit hard when it’s located low and inside on righties.
If he can keep the fastball down and keep the curveball on the outside corner of the plate, he will keep hitters guessing. Last year, Snell had most success when he pitched on the corners of the strike zone. He has not located as well up until this point, but he can start this Sunday against the New York Yankees. In day games this year, he has a 1-2 record with a 3.38 ERA. The Yankees are heating up, but he can put them in their place if he can keep his pitch sequence in check.
The Rays only sit a half game ahead of New York for first place. A bonus for Tampa is they now have Austin Meadows back, who has been a nice surprise this year. Before Glasnow’s injury, Snell needed to get back to himself. Now that he is, the lefty needs to step up more than ever. He is a key cog to this team, and he needs to show that his Cy Young season was not a fluke.