Ian Snell announced last month that he was retiring rather than accept a minor league assignment from the Cardinals, but Evan Drellich of MLB.com reports that he is already considering a comeback.
“He told the world he’s retiring, and that’s what we thought was going to happen,” Snell’s agent Joe Sroba said Friday.
Snell posted an unsightly 6.41 ERA and 26/25 K/BB ratio over 46 1/3 innings with the Mariners last season. While he’s been in a steady decline since the 2007 season, he is only 29 years old and was still averaging 91.1 mph on his fastball last season.
The Delaware native would make sense for a number of teams as organizational depth at the Triple-A level, but Sroba mentioned that a return to the Cardinals is a possibility. And really, if there’s anyone who can get Snell’s career back on track, it has to be Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.