Blake Snell put the finishing touches on a perfect spring Saturday, doing everything in his power to silence any doubters heading into his first season with the San Diego Padres.
Across 14 1/3 innings of Cactus League action, the left-hander scattered five hits, struck out 13 and worked to a 0.63 WHIP. In his final start of the spring, he allowed just one knock in five scoreless frames against the Angels – giving every indication he’s ready to anchor this San Diego rotation alongside Opening Day starter Yu Darvish.
"“I’m ready for my next start, I definitely know that,” Snell said. “I feel really good. I feel like I’m in a good place, and I’m excited to get better … “I mean, I’m happy with it. But there’s a lot to work on.”"
More from Friars on Base
- Padres fighting with hated rival to sign quality veteran relief pitcher
- Jurickson Profar free agency update likely rules out Padres reunion
- Fernando Tatis Jr. may not take to outfield move after Xander Bogaerts addition
- Padres News: Fernando Tatis Jr. trade rumors, Seth Lugo chase, Manny Machado
- Padres barely missed out on high-end veteran starting pitcher
The biggest critique of Snell heading into the season is his seeming inability to work deep into ballgames. Since winning the American League Cy Young back in 2018, he’s hardly looked like a true ace. The Padres are hoping he can re-establish himself in San Diego.
If he does, then come October, the Friars are a nightmare matchup with Darvish, Snell and some combination of Dinelson Lamet, Chris Paddack and Joe Musgrove to follow. Of course, in 2022, they’ll add Mike Clevinger back into the mix, as well, once he returns from Tommy John.
Padres: Blake Snell for NL Cy Young?
Realistically, the Padres have three starters who could legitimately challenge for the Cy Young this season in Darvish, Lamet and Snell. But, for now, let’s focus on Snell – who, again, didn’t allow a single run this spring.
If he’s able to pull off the feat, he’ll be the first since Max Scherzer and just the seventh pitcher in baseball history to win a Cy Young in both leagues. He’s definitely capable of pulling it off – and he just seems like a guy who’s poised to thrive with a supporting cast.
Just four pitchers in San Diego Padres history have won the Cy Young – making this a pretty exclusive list:
- Jake Peavy – 2007
- Mark Davis – 1989
- Gaylord Perry – 1978
- Randy Jones – 1976
Can Snell become the fifth? We’ll see. But all signs point to ‘yes’ after a dominant spring in Arizona.