Snell not feeling pressure in '19 after Cy win

Rays ace focused on becoming more consistent, durable

February 13th, 2019

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- After winning the 2018 American League Cy Young Award, said he doesn't feel "any pressure" in '19.

Snell is coming off a season in which he won 21 games and led the AL with a 1.89 ERA. He was the ace of the Rays staff last season, and if the Rays are looking to make a run at the postseason, it begins with what Snell is able to accomplish on the mound.:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::

While he's excited about what he accomplished last season, Snell says he's just focused on continuing to improve and helping the team reach the postseason in '19.

"I keep focusing on getting better," Snell said. "I think that allows me to kind of nip all the outside stuff, which is cool for me to see since I've never gone through this."

Snell wants to bring everyone together

The 26-year-old says that he feels there are a lot of areas in which he can improve this season. Getting deeper into games and being consistent in his delivery are the things that he's looking to work on this season. He spent his offseason in his Seattle home building strength in his core and legs, which he hopes will help him have an even more productive season.

"Being able to get deeper into games is something that I want to focus on," he said. "Consistency in the strike zone needs to be better. I think those are things that I need to focus on, and I think those two things go hand in hand and will help me be a lot better."

Having around is one thing Snell is particularly excited about. He said that he will look for Morton to show the most leadership in the clubhouse, but Snell is also looking to lead by example whenever he feels the need to.

"[Morton] is a guy that I've watched and I've seen him compete, competed against him and it's always been fun," Snell said. "Having him on our team is a blessing, honestly."

Over his offseason, MLB Network ranked Snell as the No. 10 starting pitcher in baseball despite his AL Cy Young Award last season. Snell acknowledged that he sees stuff like that, but doesn't necessarily give it too much time.

"You can rank me whatever you want to rank me. I don't care," Snell said. "You can rank me one, you can rank me 100, I'm going to come out and show you that I have work to do. I've got to learn, I've got to get better.

"It helps, but at the same time, I've had one good year. I have to stay consistent in being good, and that's hard to do at this level, so I have to keep finding ways to get better and better."

Snell won't lack motivation to help the Rays win games as the club's pitchers and catchers reported Wednesday.

"I'm ready to go," he said. "I think the team is ready to go. We're all pumped to be here. I can't wait."