It’s only spring training.
But, man, I’m really digging this pattern. Padres starting pitchers have been lights-out all spring long and Blake Snell has been no exception. The left-hander kept things rolling on Monday, tossing three scoreless frames against the Milwaukee Brewers.
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Across three Cactus League outings, he’s allowed just two hits in six innings of work. Snell has struck out four and walked only one. Let’s hope that’s a sign of things to come. A former AL Cy Young winner, the lefty has been somewhat inconsistent during his career and comes with his share of durability concerns.
Snell is well aware of those criticisms – and he’s hoping to dispel them in his first season with San Diego.
"“I want to see what’s inside me,’’ Snell told USA Today. “The only way to really see that is to go deep into games when you’re starting to be a little more fatigued. Once I get deeper into ballgames, I’ll become a lot better at being a complete starting pitcher.”"
As of Monday, San Diego starters carry a 2.43 ERA across their first 14 Cactus League games. That ranks tops among the 15 Arizona-based clubs this spring. Snell and fellow newcomer Yu Darvish have both looked like legitimate aces. And, make no mistake, if the Padres are going to have any chance of knocking off the Dodgers in the NL West, that’s exactly what it’ll take.
Padres: All good things so far from the starting rotation
If you look at the mix of guys who could factor into the rotation this year, suffice to say, you won’t be disappointed.
- Darvish: 0.00 ERA, 5 IP, 7 K
- Snell: 0.00 ERA, 6 IP, 4 K
- Chris Paddack: 1.29 ERA, 7 IP, 5 K
- Adrian Morejon: 2.57 ERA, 7 IP, 10 K
- Joe Musgrove: 3.60 ERA, 5 IP, 2 K
Then, you’ve got right-hander Dinelson Lamet continuing to make progress in his road back from the injury that put an end to his 2020 season and top prospect MacKenzie Gore working toward his much-anticipated big league debut. The depth is incredible and when you’re getting ace-caliber outings from Snell and Darvish, at least on paper, this is the best rotation in all of baseball.
Like I said. It’s spring training and I’m well aware of that fact. But with another strong showing under his belt, Snell continues to inspire confidence every time he takes the ball.