blake-snell-padres.jpg
USATSI

San Diego Padres left-handed starter Blake Snell exited his Sunday start against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning after suffering an apparent lower-body injury on his 11th pitch of the afternoon. 

Snell hopped and motioned toward the trainer immediately after delivering a 2-1 offering to Trea Turner. He then exited, walking gingerly toward the dugout.

Snell, 28, is nearing the end of his first full season with the Padres, having been acquired over the winter from the Tampa Bay Rays. On the year, he has a 4.22 ERA (91 ERA+) and a 2.46 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He's pitched much better than his aggregate numbers indicate recently. Dating back to the beginning of August, Snell has compiled a 1.85 ERA and 51 more strikeouts than walks in 43 innings.

At this point, it's unclear if Snell will require a stint on the injured list. The Padres sure hope not. San Diego starting shortstop Jake Cronenworth suffered a small fracture in his left ring finger after being hit by a pitch on Friday. His timetable to return remains up in the air until his inflammation clears. If either Snell or Cronenworth is placed on the IL, they'll become the 12th (and/or possibly the 13th) Padres player on the shelf.

The Padres entered Sunday with a 74-67 record on the season, positioning them 17 ½ games back in the National League West and dead even with the Cincinnati Reds for the NL's second wild card spot. The Reds lost against the St. Louis Cardinals earlier on Sunday, meaning a Padres win would move them into sole possession of that spot.

Following Sunday's series finale against the Dodgers, the Padres will head to San Francisco for a four-game set against the division-leading Giants. The Padres have 13 more games remaining against the Giants and Dodgers combined, so they'll need to be as close to full strength as possible if they're to make it to October.