Snell late scratch from start, could go on IL

Left adductor tightness causes Padres starter to miss Sunday's game vs. D-backs

April 11th, 2022

PHOENIX -- Padres left-hander Blake Snell was a late scratch from his start on Sunday against the D-backs because of left adductor tightness. He is likely headed for a stint on the injured list, San Diego manager Bob Melvin said, though the team will wait to make that decision until after Snell plays catch on Monday in San Francisco.

As late scratches go, this one was late. The injury arose just as Snell was finishing his pregame bullpen session ahead of the Padres’ 10-5 victory at Chase Field.

It’s the same injury Snell dealt with last September, which caused him to miss his last couple starts. Snell said this flare-up was “way more minor” in comparison, and he’s hopeful there’s a chance he can make his start Friday against Atlanta.

“It was weird because I hadn’t felt it at all this spring,” Snell said. “I was locked in and ready, and I felt it. I didn’t want to injure it more like last time. I felt like the best thing was to stop while it’s very minor and try to see what we can make of it.”

It only became apparent that Snell had been scratched when right-hander Nabil Crismatt, the team's long reliever, took the mound for the bottom of the first inning. Crismatt, to his credit, filled in admirably with three scoreless innings, before turning it over to the rest of the bullpen.

“I feel really good, my body feels great, I'm in a great place,” Snell said. “To feel that, it was very frustrating, because I've done everything to this point to be ready.”

If Snell's injury forces him to miss further time, it would create an interesting question for the Padres. Left-hander MacKenzie Gore was excellent during Spring Training and pitched five scoreless innings at Triple-A El Paso on Saturday night.

Gore, San Diego's No. 4 prospect per MLB Pipeline, looked like he'd thrust his name squarely into the mix for the Padres' Opening Day roster. Then, president of baseball operations A.J. Preller traded for Sean Manaea and Gore was the odd man out.

“At one point, it looked like we had almost too many [starters],” Melvin said. “And here we are four games into the season, and it’s not too many. Good job by A.J. to go out and get Manaea, for sure.”

Another possibility for starts in the near future is right-hander Mike Clevinger, who hasn't pitched since 2020 Tommy John surgery. Clevinger is slated to pitch for Single-A Lake Elsinore on Thursday, however, so he wouldn’t be an immediate candidate to take Snell’s place in the rotation. Ryan Weathers and Reiss Knehr are other options at Triple-A.

“I don’t know at this point,” Melvin said. “We’ll see how Blake does [Monday] and whether or not we need to make that move."