A quick word on Snell

DMZ · August 15, 2009 at 12:46 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

After his second start, here and outside these comfy confines we heard a lot of worry about what the team should do with him: trade him, put him in Tacoma to work out some issues, or what.

And I’d just like to say: chill.

Over his career, Snell’s been throwing about 60% fastballs, 30-35% breaking stuff, and 5-10% changeups. We could argue about whether or not that’s the best thing for him, but hang on for a second.

On the 13th, when he ended up having eight runs charged to him, he threw 109 pitches. 66% of them were fastballs, 13% changeups, and 20% sliders. When you look his inning-by-inning performance, he ran about two-thirds strikes until the seventh, when he was out of it and couldn’t get an out.

1st: Every batter gets a first-pitch fastball, only 2 pitches not fastballs all inning
2nd: Cano gets a change, Hairston gets a slider and is the only hitter to see mostly non-fastballs
3rd: second time through the lineup. Fastballs.
4th: More of a mix, lotta fastballs.
5th: Changes and fastballs.
6th: Mix, lotta fastballs.

I don’t count this start against Snell at all. The team absolutely needed him to get at least six innings, and their plan was to start almost every at bat throwing fastballs for strikes (or high-and-in-to-righties balls), and then leaning heavily on the fastball. And Snell’s fastball isn’t that great. It could be better. Okay, it’s not that good. You’ve seen him, you know his out pitch is going to be the breaking stuff, right? That slider’s brutal. Going to a game plan that moves off mixing that pitch in effectively might be worth it for the team, but it makes Snell a worse pitcher.

Give it a while. Two games doesn’t make a failure.


17 Responses to “A quick word on Snell”

  1. mw3 on August 15th, 2009 12:55 pm

    I completely agree. Snell will be fine, he was obviously squeezed in the TB start and the Yankees destroy righty starters not named Beckett or King Felix.

  2. Jeff Nye on August 15th, 2009 1:02 pm

    In addition, there isn’t exactly anyone else beating the door down right now to take his spot in the rotation, but sending him to Tacoma wouldn’t teach him anything he doesn’t already know.

    Derek’s right; people are massively overreacting to a couple of bad starts from someone who is a work in progress.

  3. Mike Snow on August 15th, 2009 1:09 pm

    There is Morrow, although maybe only two strikeouts in shutting out Iowa is a little short of beating the door down. But I’m not in a hurry to give up on Snell either.

  4. DAMellen on August 15th, 2009 1:22 pm

    Wasn’t he pretty unlucky to give up that many runs anyways? In the first six didn’t he have like 4 Ks, 2 BBs, 9 grounders, 10 flies, and throw like 65% strikes? Those all seem like pretty decent numbers, especially against the Yankees who can hit and have tons of lefties who we all know Snell struggles against.

  5. Jeff Nye on August 15th, 2009 1:25 pm

    I wouldn’t want to risk bringing Morrow back up until I’m absolutely sure it won’t set his development back further.

    And I’m not sure that I’d be, uh, sure of that before the end of this season, really.

  6. coreyjro on August 15th, 2009 1:36 pm

    It was interesting being at the game. In the innings Snell was getting rocked you could almost see it coming. I called a Teixeira homer that didn’t happen, but on the next pitch Matsui went yard. When he settled in Snell was very much in control of the game, and that is the reason he has potential.

  7. Kazinski on August 15th, 2009 1:41 pm

    I don’t mind being patient with Snell, Silva healthy enough to throw bullpens sessions is enough to scare the shit out of me.

  8. wescottr on August 15th, 2009 1:55 pm

    Despite the bad line against the Yanks (and previous game) I feel like snell is on the verge of being a really effective SP for the M’s. We need to use the rest of the season to make that happen. I was @ Tacoma last night and saw Morrow throw the CG-4 hit shut out. He is head and shoulders better then the talent down there and is ready for his shot to prove it in the bigs over the next 8 weeks.

  9. Adam B. on August 15th, 2009 2:00 pm

    I think Snell deserves the benefit of the doubt through the end of the season.

    The Mariners have been out of contention for quite some time, and it’s not like you have anyone pushing for his rotation spot–Morrow is just fine getting starts in Tacoma and Silva is a very “known quantity”.

    I was at his Yankee start and he looked fine in the first inning before the hitters had his fastball timed, and he looked fine after the 5th or 6th when he had got his requisite innings in and started using more of his off-speed pitches.

    There is no reason for the Mariners not to let Snell finish out the season in the rotation and get a feeling for what they really have with him.

  10. G-Man on August 15th, 2009 2:23 pm

    I am concerned about Ian’s head mre than anything else. If pitching for the big league team is the way to do it, fine.

    Tacoma will end its season around Labor Day, Morrow could come up then.

  11. dw on August 15th, 2009 4:43 pm

    Having now sat through two Snell starts at the ball yard, I can pretty say two things:

    1. He’s capable of being the #2 guy behind Felix. There’s no question about the talent.

    2. But he’s got to work on his mental game.

    And that’s why the M’s traded for him. Any of you remember Carson Palmer at USC before Norm Chow arrived? There was no question he had the physical gifts to be an NFL QB, but he was mostly successful at not hitting his target. Then Norm Chow came in, and all a sudden he’s a Heisman winner. Part of it was the bump in talent of USC, but most of it was that Palmer finally matured, calmed down, and picked his moments better.

    It does seem like Snell is in a similar situation. It’s not that he’s throwing badly, it’s that he’s making mistakes and repeating them. And as well, he’ll keep pounding a spot until the ump calls a strike (like he did last Saturday), and that’s just insanity.

    I have hope that Adair and the rest of the staff can sit him down and get him to pitch better. It seems, to a point, it helped with Felix this year. That and getting a team that didn’t think his fastball was his best pitch.

  12. thebigp708 on August 15th, 2009 7:19 pm

    Actually, Snell is garbage. Always will be.

  13. kayjay on August 15th, 2009 9:32 pm

    I went to Thursdays game specifically to see Snell. I think Snell has the stuff to be a starter. Snell did pitch well in the 5th and 6th, muscling his way through a rough start. I grudgingly have to say the Yankees are the best team I have seen this year and Sabathia is all he is cracked up to be It is too soon to write Snell off.

  14. Catherwood on August 15th, 2009 11:34 pm

    I think “the bigp708” is compensating for his lower case. I’m just saying.

    I thought Snell’s first start against TB was ridiculous; PitchFX showed approximately a zillion strikes that were nevertheless called balls (and a bunch of pitches that were all pasted into one big blob, some of which were strikes and some of which weren’t. WTH?). I thought he looked great, but blue wanted him to throw waist-high to get strikes, and with his fastball, that’s not gonna work.

    I don’t know if he’s number-two-starter material, but I think he can fit somewhere into a rotation and do fine.

  15. thebigp708 on August 16th, 2009 9:59 am

    Yeah, pitch fx said he’s good. Adjust? No, just keep putting the ball in the same place. Last I checked the ump called balls and strikes, not pitch fx, try again wood.

  16. Tuomas on August 16th, 2009 6:55 pm

    Pitch f/x tells us if his pitches should have been strikes or balls. That they weren’t is down to the inconsistency and incompetence of the umpire. As you say, they call balls and strikes, and they need to do it better. You think it doesn’t affect a pitcher having to throw the ball belt-high in the middle of the plate to get a called strike? Hitters get to hit, you know.

  17. Mike Snow on August 17th, 2009 8:47 am

    Actually, the notion that a pitcher (or a hitter) should “adjust” to the umpire’s strike zone is rather curious, if the argument for having umpires call balls and strikes is to retain the human element of the game. Because the pitcher will only be able to successfully adjust his pitches if the umpire calls the same strike zone consistently…like a robot.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.