Is it Time to Bring Ian Snell Back?

Following up on Vlad's fanpost yesterday: Ian Snell pitched six innings yesterday for Indianapolis, striking out nine, walking four and allowing one run. To date, he's racked up 43 strikeouts in 32.3 innings, posting an ERA of 0.56. The non-waiver trading deadline is next Friday.

I mention all this because of this, from the link Vlad posted:

Snell has a 0.34 ERA in four starts since being demoted June 25... but the Pirates don’t plan to recall him — at least in the near future — because of his apparent reluctance to return to the majors.

"Ian spoke publicly about not wanting to come back and it’s tough to bring a player back into a clubhouse with 24 other players when he’s been strongly adamant he doesn’t want to come back," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Sunday...

"Many [teams] have the same feeling — they’re intrigued by talent, but puzzled by the ongoings," Huntington said. "Teams still poke around and hope we’re ready to give up on him and just give him away, or they’re going to trade us their bad contract for what could be deemed our bad contract."

Got that? The Pirates would like to trade Snell--and, presumably, Snell would like to be traded--but the Pirates can't make that happen on their terms, because of the drama involved. It seems pretty likely that no amount of dominant pitching at Indianapolis will resolve it, either.

If the report a couple weeks ago on Indianapolis TV about Snell being depressed is true, in a clinical sense, that's one thing. But if it's not, then I'd like the Bucs to ignore Snell's wishes and bring him back to start in place of Virgil Vasquez next week (Vasquez's strong start yesterday notwithstanding). Snell is not being paid millions of dollars to pitch in Indianapolis. And if he were called up to the big leagues, he ought to be motivated to pitch well, since he'd be auditioning for other teams who need a starter but wonder whether he can handle the big leagues right now.

There is no reason for the Pirates to give Snell away. And it's not fair to the Pirates to have to continue to pay millions for Snell's services if he won't pitch for them. Pitching at Indianapolis indefinitely should not be an option. If he wants a change of scenery, it should come through a trade to another big league club. And Snell can speed that process along by coming back to the Pirates and pitching well.

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