Padres: Blake Snell wants redemption against the Dodgers
By Jake Misener
It’s literally the first day of Blake Snell on the field with his Padres teammates and he’s already endearing himself to fans in San Diego.
The left-hander, who was yanked by his former skipper in Game 6 of last year’s World Series against the Dodgers, is already chomping at the bit to get another crack at the team that stopped him from winning the first ring of his career.
"“I can’t wait to play the Dodgers,” Snell said after reporting to camp Wednesday. “They’re talented beyond belief. We’re talented beyond belief. … It’s going to be a lot of fun. Every game.”"
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Snell, who won the American League Cy Young Award back in 2018, is looking to play a pivotal role for the Padres this season. The southpaw was a fan favorite in Tampa Bay – but has faced his share of criticism for what some perceive as a pretty light workload in his career. He’s eclipsed 150 regular season innings just once in his career.
Last season with the Rays, Snell made 11 starts and was very effective. Statcast pegged him in the top 16 percent of the league in K rate and top 14 in whiff rate. He found success, despite allowing a 9.8 percent barrel rate – the highest mark of his career.
Padres have faith in Blake Snell
Clearly, San Diego liked what they saw in him (and the fact he comes with multiple seasons of cost control) as they kicked off their offseason by trading for him. Less than 24 hours later, they followed up with a trade for Yu Darvish and have been continually adding pieces ever since.
With a bullpen that has the potential to be just as good as the starting rotation, Snell won’t have to go out and eat seven-plus frames every time out. But no one would complain if he started working deeper into contests.
"“I want to see what’s inside of me, and the only way to really see that is to go deep into games,” Snell said. “When you’re starting to be a little bit more fatigued, and you’ve got to battle some things and try to be great, I think that’s what I’m most excited about.”"
The rivalry is on. Padres and Dodgers are set to entertain us all season long. Buckle up – it’s going to be a wild ride.