Rays Ace Blake Snell Could Miss Opening Day After Receiving Treatment for Elbow Issue

Tampa Bay Rays starter Blake Snell
Tampa Bay Rays starter Blake Snell / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Pitchers in the AL East seem to be dropping like flies. The Yankees have already lost Luis Severino and James Paxton to long term injuries, while Red Sox ace Chris Sale is not anticipated to be available for Opening Day. Well, you can now add the Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell to that list of esteemed hurlers already sidelined by injury.

Snell received a cortisone shot in his left elbow, which could keep him out for the Opening Day festivities against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Manager Kevin Cash is hopeful Snell will be available, but admitted he won't know for some time whether the southpaw will be able ready to take the mound when the season gets underway on March 26.

Snell surged to stardom in 2018 when he went 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA, winning his first Cy Young Award. His regression in 2019 was frankly shocking, as his ERA more than doubled. Snell's 4.29 ERA and 8.1 hits per nine innings were sharp increases from his AL-best marks the year prior.

Even amid last year's decline, the 27 year old figures to be the bell cow of the Rays' rotation this year, and injury news is not what Tampa Bay fans wanted to hear. If Snell unable to take the hill on Opening Day, Tampa will likely turn to Charlie Morton or Tyler Glasnow in his stead.