Blake Snell To Miss Month After Elbow Surgery

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) - If the Tampa Bay Rays are going to hang in the AL playoff race, they'll have to do it without reigning AL Cy Young Award victor Blake Snell.

Starting pitcher Blake Snell will undergo arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose body in his left elbow this weekend, the team announced Thursday.

His recovery timetable is at least four weeks.

The Snell news was first reported by The Athletic. Coming off a brilliant 2018 campaign, Snell was outstanding in April, leveled off in May, and then struggled in June. His last four starts he was much better, posting a 2-0 record and a 1.64 ERA.

Snell was solid in his last outing on Sunday as he allowed three hits over six scoreless innings while defeating the Chicago White Sox. The step back could be seen in some ways as bad luck, with Snell's batting average on balls in play (.339) being almost 100 points higher than last season.

Snell was placed on the 10-day injured list on Thursday.

It hasn't been like that all season, though - Snell had a 3.06 ERA by the end of May. They have closed on Oakland, which leads for the second AL wild-card berth.

As it stands, the Rays have just one traditional starter in their rotation in Charlie Morton. Yonny Chirinos has also started 15 games to give them a little more length. Opener Ryne Stanek is now on the injured list with right hip soreness, while reliever Jose Alvardo is also out with an oblique strain. In short, a team that's built to win with pitching is missing many of their top pitchers.

The Rays are now 10 games behind the first place New York Yankees in the American League East, one game ahead of the Boston Red Sox. Staying in the race for the next month without Snell will be a great challenge.

Snell, 26, joined right-hander Tyler Glasnow as the latest Rays pitcher to land on the IL.



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