Not so long ago Ian Snell was a promising young starter for the Pirates, throwing 208 innings with a 3.76 ERA and solid 177/68 K/BB ratio as a 25-year-old in 2007.
Unfortunately it’s been all downhill since then, as Snell pitched his way out of Pittsburgh and then failed to resurrect his career in Seattle, where he was paid $4.3 million to go 0-5 with a 6.41 ERA in 46 innings last year.
Snell had to settle for a minor-league contract with St. Louis this winter and today the Cardinals reassigned him to minor-league camp, at which point Snell announced his retirement at age 29.
Snell has lost about 1.5 miles per hour off his fastball compared to his peak, but still throws in the low-90s and certainly could have struck around for a few more seasons at Triple-A waiting for another shot in the majors. Of course, he’s already earned nearly $10 million and isn’t even 30 years old yet, so it’s tough to blame him too much for calling it a career.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.