The Tampa Bay Rays are calling up left-handed pitcher Blake Snell to start this Saturday against the New York Yankees, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
BREAKING: #Rays are calling up top prospect LHP Blake Snell to start Saturday vs. #Yankees
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 22, 2016
As Topkin notes, the Rays are currently undergoing a tough part of their schedule, playing nine games in nine nights. They needed a starter for Saturday after Erasmo Ramirez, who was supposed to start, pitched on Thursday against the Red Sox.
Snell is the latest in the long list of great pitching prospects to come out the Rays organization. The 23-year-old was named the 12th best prospect by Baseball America in 2016, and was Baseball America’s Minor League Player of the Year in 2015.
The 6’4″ lefty has a great arsenal of pitches, including a plus fastball which he can dial up to 97 MPH. Snell’s done nothing but dominate in the minor leagues, posting a career 34-25 record, with a 3.18 ERA in 97 games (92 starts), including an eye-popping 10.1 SO/9. He’s dialed it up even more in his last 28 starts, as Josh Vitale of the Charlotte Sun notes, Snell has gone 16-5 with a 1.52 ERA and 184 strikeouts in his last 138.1 innings. Those are video game numbers.
Snell told Topkin he couldn’t have dreamed of a better way to make his major league debut.
“Can’t have dreamed of a better way,” Snell said. “It’s really such an amazing time for me. And I’m really fortunate to be in this situation.”
Snell’s set to face a tough Yankees lineup, who scored the second most runs in baseball last year – although they’ve gotten off to a tough start in 2016, with a 5-9 record and only four runs scored per game. Still, he should be in for a challenge.
Tampa Bay has been rolling with a four-man rotation most of the season, so if Snell impresses the Rays on Saturday, he’s got a chance to stick around. He’s got the stuff to be a good starter, the question is, is he ready? He’ll get a chance to prove so on Saturday.