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Snell heads to the IL with “loose bodies” in elbow, September return expected

Photo by Alex Walworth - The Scrum Sports

The reigning 2018 AL Cy Young winner, Blake Snell, will head to the IL and operating table with “loose bodies” in his elbow.

ST. PETERSBURG – He was starting to put it all together. Snell, who’s second half of 2018 all but solidified his first career Cy Young, was starting to do much of the same in 2019. A back-to-back Cy Young won’t happen, but he was becoming the pitcher of 2018. The pitcher the team knows he can be. Losing him for at least a month will no doubt hurt the ball club as they head into the final stretch of the season and a playoff push.

How good has Snell been since June 30th? He’s 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 22 IP over his last four starts.

Dr. Koco Eaton will perform arthroscopic surgery on Monday, July 29 in St. Petersburg to remove the loose bodies. The Rays anticipate that Snell will be ready to return to the club in September.

Who steps up?

A corresponding move to replace Snell will be made Friday before the series opener in Toronto. Some options could be bringing Brendan McKay back up. Other options could be to have Jose De Leon make his 2019 debut or give Jalen Beeks a few more starts. Jake Faria and Austin Pruitt are also options. It wouldn’t be a total shock to run with Charlie Morton, Yonny Chirinos, and Ryan Yarbrough with two “opener” days.

Probables in Toronto

RHP Diego Castillo will “open” on Friday.

TBD on Saturday.

RHP Yonny Chirinos will start on Sunday.

Walking wounded grows

Snell joins Glasnow, Yandy DíazKevin KiermaierBrandon LoweJosé AlvaradoDaniel Robertson and Ryne Stanek as key pieces for the Rays who are currently on the 10-day IL.

Plans for the deadline have likely changed

The trade deadline looms a week away. Losing Snell could very well change the conversations in the Rays front office regarding where to look and what to address. A more glaring question would be what they’re willing to give up. As of today, they’re just a game behind Oakland for the final AL wild card and just 2 back of Cleveland for the top wild card. Boston is just a game behind.

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