Rays' Blake Snell to Undergo Surgery on Elbow Injury; Out at Least 4 Weeks

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2019

ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA - MARCH 28: Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays throws a pitch in the third inning against the Houston Astros during Opening Day at Tropicana Field on March 28, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Rays announced Thursday they have placed ace Blake Snell on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Monday, because of "loose bodies" in his left elbow. The team expects him back on the mound in September.

The Athletic's Josh Tolentino first reported the news Thursday and noted Snell will have surgery on the elbow "to remove a loose body."

Snell was the American League Cy Young winner in 2018. He finished 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and 2.95 FIP in 31 appearances, per FanGraphs. His 4.8 WAR ranked only seventh among AL pitchers, though.

The Rays rewarded the left-hander with a five-year, $50 million extension in the offseason.

Snell got off to a great start in 2019, striking out 36 batters and allowing six earned runs in his first 25 innings. Tampa Bay then placed him on the 10-day injured list with a fractured right toe in April. The circumstances behind his injury were odd, to say the least.

Marc Topkin @TBTimes_Rays

#Rays Snell said he was getting out of the shower Sunday night, decided then to move a decorative stand in the bathroom that he didn’t realize was in 2 parts, and as he lifted it the bottom piece, made of granite, fell on his right foot. That fourth toe is a bruised red mess. https://t.co/KHUOk5FcBL

Since returning to the mound, Snell has regressed. In 20 starts, he's 6-7 with a 4.28 ERA and a 3.40 FIP.

The Rays far exceeded expectations last season, winning 90 games and missing out on a wild-card berth by seven games. They continue to contend for the postseason in what is one of MLB's toughest divisions. They're a game back of the final wild-card spot.

Snell was a big reason for Tampa Bay's success a season ago, so his absence will leave an obvious hole in the team's starting rotation.