On Wednesday evening, Rays starter Blake Snell was named the winner of the American League Cy Young Award. The Mets’ Jacob deGrom won the honor in the National League.
Snell, 25, had an outstanding season, but it didn’t come out of nowhere. He was a consensus top-20 prospect leading into the 2016 season and pitched reasonably well in his first two seasons in the majors. In 2018, he went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio in 180 2/3 innings. Snell’s 21 wins led all of baseball and his 1.89 ERA led the AL.
Coincidentally, Snell was randomly selected to be drug-tested on Friday, he said on Thursday afternoon:
Snell isn’t the first player to call into question the supposed randomness of MLB’s drug-testing program. Earlier this year, Snell’s former teammate, outfielder Carlos Gómez, said that he doesn’t believe it’s random and, in fact, targets older players and Latin players. Brewers 1B/OF Eric Thames was repeatedly drug-tested after getting off to a blistering start in 2017. He chose to laugh at his situation and said he doesn’t believe the selection is random.
The Rockies fell 9-6 to the Orioles on Saturday, but the loss wasn’t without its bright spots. Case in point: Third baseman Nolan Arenado passed a significant career milestone on an Andrew Cashner fastball in the third inning, slugging the ball a projected 394 feet into the left field stands for his 200th career home run.
Arenado is the 34th active player to join the 200+ homer club and the first to do so since the Braves’ Freddie Freeman crossed that threshold on May 19. The three-run shot was the infielder’s 14th of the season and third since Friday, when he went deep twice against Orioles rookie John Means and reliever Shawn Armstrong. Following Saturday’s performance, he’s batting a robust .333/.377/.632 with 30 extra-base hits, 42 RBI, and a 1.009 OPS through 220 plate appearances.
He isn’t the only Rockies slugger making history, either. Arenado’s feat trailed that of Trevor Story, who clobbered an 0-2 pitch from Armstrong during the seventh inning of Friday’s 8-6 win. The two-run blast was his 100th home run in 448 career games, making him the fastest shortstop to reach the mark in MLB history.
The Rockies will vie for the series win as they round out the series on Sunday, with right-hander German Márquez scheduled to take the bump against fellow righty David Hess at 3:10 PM EDT.