SF Giants ace Blake Snell roughed up in Triple-A rehab start

Blake Snell’s year with the Giants hasn’t gone according to plan, and it looks like his rehab is at risk for the same fate.

Snell, the reigning National League Cy Young winner, pitched 1 2/3 innings in a rehab start for the Sacramento River Cats on Sunday afternoon. The southpaw struggled with command and racked up 51 pitches before departing with two outs in the second inning against the Round Rock Express — Texas’ affiliate.

Snell walked three and gave up three hits in 1 2/3 innings, surrendering two earned runs. He’s been on the 15-day injured list since June 3 with a left groin strain.

A Scott Boras client, Snell didn’t sign with the Giants until March 19, preventing him from having a normal spring training and offseason. The club slowly brought him into the fold, only for Snell to struggle at the big-league level. In six starts for the Giants, Snell is 0-3 with a 9.51 ERA. He has given up 11 more earned runs (25) than he did in all of the second half of last season.

“From the very beginning of spring training until now, it’s been a pretty uneven process for him,” Melvin said of Snell when the pitcher hit the IL.

According to The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, Snell said after his outing that he was impressed with his velocity that reached the mid-90s, but was frustrated with his performance.

Robbie Ray, another former Cy Young winner, also made a rehab appearance on Sunday in Sacramento. He threw 45 pitches in 2 1/3 solid innings, striking out a pair while allowing one hit and one walk.

Ray, who’s recovering from Tommy John surgery, isn’t expected to return to the Giants until around the All-Star break.

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While Snell, Ray, Keaton Winn, Kyle Harrison, Alex Cobb and Tristan Beck are sidelined with injuries, the Giants have been left with only Logan Webb and Jordan Hicks in the rotation. Snell’s tough day makes it unlikely he’ll come to the rescue before making several more rehab starts.

LaMonte Wade Jr., though, is much closer to rejoining the fold. He also played a rehab assignment game Sunday with Snell and Ray, drawing three walks and scoring two runs in his first four at-bats.

Wade was San Francisco’s best overall hitter before he went down with a hamstring strain a month ago. His .470 on-base percentage still leads MLB among players with at least 100 plate appearances.

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