Blake Snell spoke with the media this morning about the cortisone shot he received in his throwing elbow Friday. He reiterated (via Juan Toribio of MLB.com) that he doesn’t view the issue as a long-term concern, calling the injection a precautionary measure. Nevertheless, he stopped short of declaring he’d be ready for Opening Day (via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times). Snell being ready for the start of the season isn’t out of the question, but it’ll understandably depend on his progression in the coming weeks, Toribio adds (Twitter link).
The Rays’ lefty traced the issue back to the procedure he underwent last July to remove loose bodies from the elbow, telling reporters (Topkin link) the affected area was “super sore.” Nevertheless, Snell stressed to reporters that a CT scan didn’t identify any new chips to the bone. The 2018 AL Cy Young winner added (via Topkin) “from a throwing standpoint, I do feel great.”
To hear of a flareup in Snell’s throwing elbow after surgery sidelined him in 2019 will raise some alarm. It obviously would’ve been ideal for Rays’ fans to hear Snell definitively say he’d be ready for Opening Day. The club could no doubt use a full season of ace-like form from Snell as they seek to dethrone the Yankees in the AL East.
That said, it’s hardly time to get up in arms. Both the pitcher and organizational higher-ups (Topkin link) have downplayed the significance of the cortisone shot, and teams typically play things cautiously at this stage of spring. The Snell situation is merely one worth keeping an eye on for now.