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Snell hints at Giants’ impatience with his return from injuries

Blake Snell’s first Giants season hasn’t gone well at all and his latest rehab start added to the issues.

The 2023 NL Cy Young Award winner pitched just 1 2/3 innings for the Sacramento River Cats on Sunday, as he allowed three hits, two earned runs while walking three batters. He didn’t record any strikeouts.

Snell, on the IL with a groin strain, expressed frustration after his 51-pitch outing against the Round Rock Express, alluding to possible pressure from the Giants to return before he’s ready.

“I haven’t felt like myself yet,” Snell told reporters in Sacramento (h/t The San Francisco Chronicle’s Shayna Rubin). “It’s just, ‘We need you. We need you. We need you.’ It’s not like, ‘Let’s get him right,’ and I have to deal with it. 

“I want to be healthy and 100 percent and I haven’t been. I’ve just been fighting to rush back. So that’s my take. I’m frustrated with that. And you don’t get the product of what I should be and it’s just frustrating. I want to go out there and dominate and pitch the way that I pitch but it’s more important that I’m out there.”

Snell sustained the groin injury during his June 2 start against the New York Yankees and was placed on the Injured List the next day.

This is the second time Snell has missed extended time since signing with the Giants, as he dealt with an adductor strain that sidelined him for four weeks in April and May.

The Giants’ rotation has been decimated by injuries lately and the team is tumbling down the NL Wild Card standings with the midway point of the season fast approaching. If San Francisco is applying behind-the-scenes pressure on Snell to return quickly, those two facts likely are a big reason why.

The season is getting away from the Giants and the pressure is ratcheting up on everyone in the organization.

Snell signed with the Giants 10 days before the start of the 2024 MLB season, so he didn’t have a proper spring training to build up his arm strength. Rather than make one or two minor league starts before joining the big-league club, he pitched simulated games and threw bullpen sessions.

In just six MLB starts for the Giants this season, Snell has a 9.51 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 23 2/1 innings. He hasn’t managed to make it through five full innings in any of his outings, going 4 2/3 twice.

The Giants (36-42) have lost five straight, and while they are only three games out of the final wild-card spot, only the Miami Marlins (27-50) and the Colorado Rockies (27-51) have worse records in the NL.

The Giants need Snell back as soon as he’s ready, but it sounds like he might need more time than they have.

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