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Ian Snell retires after being sent to minors by Cardinals

Mar 15, 2011, 4:40 PM EDT

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Not so long ago Ian Snell was a promising young starter for the Pirates, throwing 208 innings with a 3.76 ERA and solid 177/68 K/BB ratio as a 25-year-old in 2007.

Unfortunately it’s been all downhill since then, as Snell pitched his way out of Pittsburgh and then failed to resurrect his career in Seattle, where he was paid $4.3 million to go 0-5 with a 6.41 ERA in 46 innings last year.

Snell had to settle for a minor-league contract with St. Louis this winter and today the Cardinals reassigned him to minor-league camp, at which point Snell announced his retirement at age 29.

Snell has lost about 1.5 miles per hour off his fastball compared to his peak, but still throws in the low-90s and certainly could have struck around for a few more seasons at Triple-A waiting for another shot in the majors. Of course, he’s already earned nearly $10 million and isn’t even 30 years old yet, so it’s tough to blame him too much for calling it a career.

  1. metalhead65 - Mar 15, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    wow he must realy suck if the genius and his greatest piching coach of all time can’t fix him. hard to feel sorry for somebody who has made that much money at such a young age. good for him though for realizing it is over and that he had done all he could and not just hang around hoping to catch on with someone else.

  2. shawnuel - Mar 15, 2011 at 10:05 PM

    Snell has a very fragile nature. I think he would have had a tough time emotionally, being moved back and forth between AAA and MLB – the rotation and the bullpen. I hope he enjoys his retirement and finds peace.

  3. umrguy42 - Mar 16, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    As bad a shape as the Cards are in pitching-wise right now, and you can’t make the big league roster? Or at least suck it up, and expect that you’ll be back up at some point over the summer?

  4. jwbiii - Mar 16, 2011 at 1:00 PM

    So he decided that spending the summer away from his family wasn’t worth minor league pay. I can’t blame him.

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