Monday, August 04, 2008

Keeping Snell Up

With all of Snell's struggles this year there's been a lot of speculation about demoting him to AAA, especially since Tom Gorzelanny got sent down in early July. It was reported that he had no options left, but today's PG says that he does, in fact, have one left:

It had been widely believed for nearly two years that starter Ian Snell was out of options, even by some in the organization, but that is not the case, a team official confirmed this weekend: He has one left.
I don't think Snell's going anywhere for a couple of reasons. First off is that it seems incredibly unlikely that the people that are actually running the team and making those decisions now just learned that. Second is that Snell doesn't have anything to prove in AAA. His velocity's fine this year and his biggest problem is his inability to locate his pitches. John Van Benschoten's biggest problem is his inability to locate pitches and he puts up solid lines in AAA with stuff that's no where near as good as Snell's. Sending him to AAA wouldn't help him fix his problems at all.

Everyone compares him to Gorzelanny, but Gorzo's not a fair comparison. Since his demotion, Gorzo's started on July 12th, 20th, 25th, and 30th, throwing 3, 3, 5, and 5 and 1/3 innings. He's on a very tight pitch count despite throwing very well in his last two outings. So he's working what seems to be a regular schedule on what appears to be a very tight rope. That sounds a lot more like an extended rehab than a demotion to me. Obviously, I don't know that Gorzelanny's hurt because the team hasn't commented on it, but he's sure seemed hurt to me all year and the way the team is using him in AAA isn't helping that perception. He and Snell are different stories and have to be handled differently.