This time last year, the fans down in St. Petersburg were clamoring for a young starter by the name of Blake Snell. Snell was given the call and produced a 3.54 ERA over 19 starts. With that strong performance, Rays fans went into the season with high expectations.
Unfortunately, the sophomore slump has really been evident. The team has decided to demote him to the club's Triple-A affiliate at Durham.
Across 42 innings pitched this season, Snell has posted a 4.71 ERA with a rough 34/25 K/BB ratio. The control issue has been evident but the low strikeout total is a bit surprising as he struck out 98 batters over 89 innings last season.
While its certainly concerning, Snell is still just 24 years old and seems likely to turn it around. Tampa Bay just wants to give him an opportunity to right the ship in a lower leverage setting.
Tampa Bay fans should be patient with Snell, and he could be back up shortly. In a corresponding move, the Rays have recalled Ryne Stanek from Triple-A Durham.