Blake Snell

Snell praises Giants for treating him well: ‘They care a lot'

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Giants pitcher Blake Snell made headlines last month as he rehabbed from a groin injury, hinting at possible frustration with how the team was handling his return timeline.

Snell's comments to Shayna Rubin of the San Francisco Chronicle alluded that the Giants were pushing him to return before he was fully healthy

“I haven’t felt like myself yet,” Snell told 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.”

San Francisco manager Bob Melvin downplayed Snell's remarks afterward, attributing them to his frustration while dealing with injuries and poor performances to start the season.

When the reigning Cy Young Award winner returned from the IL on Tuesday, he had his best start as a Giant: five shutout innings while allowing just one hit. That immediate success after a month-long absence suggests that his rehab went well, perhaps better than expected.

The upward trend around Snell continued again Wednesday, as he appeared in high spirits during an interview with Giants broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow in the second inning of San Francisco's game against the Toronto Blue Jays.

In addition to several compliments toward the city of San Francisco -- except for the traffic -- Snell had high praise for the Giants organization and staff, seeming to go back on his previous statements about the team.

"I've been treated really well here, and I've really enjoyed my time here," Snell said, before diving deeper into his observations about the Giants. "They care a lot. They want to win, but I think they just care about the players a lot -- the training staff, traveling, just the staff in general."

Though Snell originally seemed to accuse the team of prioritizing wins over player health, Wednesday's comments insinuated a change of tune with the Giants' balance of the two. 

Snell has plenty of familiarity with different members of the organization as well, which he said has helped him settle in. Melvin was Snell's manager for the last two seasons with the San Diego Padres, and several of Melvin's staff made the move to San Francisco this offseason, too.

Finally, Giants pitcher Alex Cobb mentored Snell as a rookie when the two were teammates with the Tampa Bay Rays almost a decade ago, so their reunion is another benefit.

"There's just a lot of things to like about being here," the star lefty concluded.

Giants fans will hope that a more positive Snell off the field will lead to continued progression to Cy Young-caliber form on the mound. If so, the talented starter will have plenty of time to become more familiar with the Bay Area.

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