Kirby Snead

Blue Jays Internal Bullpen Candidate: Kirby Snead

The Toronto Blue Jays need help in the bullpen. Toronto may not need to look any further than farmhand LHP Kirby Snead

 

This offseason, the Blue Jays Front Office added several starting pitching options; however, the bullpen remains a work in progress. In the past, Ross Atkins added veteran budget relievers around Spring Training or Spring Training.

 

For the most part, the results of slow playing the reliever market have been fruitful. The Blue Jays got good results from Seung-Hwan Oh, Tyler Clippard, John Axford, and Daniel Hudson. Each of these relievers was also traded away for a decent return, helping to add depth to the farm system.

 

This offseason, the Blue Jays have said good-bye to Justin Shafer, Ryan Tepera, Derek Law, Jason Adams, Brock Stewart, and Buddy Boshers. They have signed A.J. Cole and Justin Miller to minor league deals and claimed Anthony Bass off waivers.

 

The Blue Jays are expected to carry 13 pitchers (5-SP and 8-RP); therefore, this leaves two or three spots open in the bullpen. Not including potential injuries.

 

I recently looked at Jackson McClelland and Hector Perez as possible options, both darkhorse options. Today, I’d like to offer up a lefty reliever who recently was left unprotected and unclaimed at this year’s Rule V Draft.

 

Kirby Snead was selected in the 10th round of the 2016 Draft. He’s steadily climbed through the Blue Jays farm system, reaching AAA in 2019. Kirby spent April at Double-A with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

 

The 6-foot-0 native of Alachua, Florida, made his Triple-A debut on April 20th. He pitched 1.2 innings, allowing one hit, striking out 2 batters, and registered his 1st AAA save. Kirby was returned to New Hampshire where he made four more appearances before heading back to Buffalo.

 

The 25-yr-old lefty struggled in 9 appearances during his 1st month with the Bisons (May). He posted a 5.59ERA with just one walk and three strikeouts over 9.2IP. Snead surrendered 13 hits and 2HRA for a .317 opponents batting average.

 

In June and July, Kirby Snead appeared to be a guy who had taken the next step in his development. He went 4-1 with a 2.28ERA over 27.2 innings. He walked just 11 batters while striking out 34 batters. Unfortunately, Kirby Snead struggled to a 1-1 record with a 6.75ERA in August (10 games).

 

During his time at Triple-A, Snead finished with a record of 5-2, 2SV, and 5 holds. He posted a 3.98ERA and a 4.12xFIP while allowing 3.29 BB/9 and 9.35 K/9. As a reliever, it is important to keep runners off base but even more important is stranding runners, he finished with a 76.2LOB% and held opponents to a mediocre .262 OppoBA.

 

Kirby Snead does a great job of keeping the ball in the park and on the ground, 2019 was no different. Snead posted a 52.3GB% and a minuscule 22.8FB%. Prior to reaching AA in 2018, Kirby Snead had not given up a HR in 80+ appearances.  He allowed 6 as a member of the Buffalo Bisons’ bullpen. That equates to a 17.6% HR/FB

 

Splits

With changes to how clubs use relievers in 2020, a lefty who can get RHB and LHB out is very important.  Unfortunately, this wasn’t something Kirby Snead excelled at during his time in Buffalo. Kirby held LHB to a .197BA, a 1.22WHIP, and zero HRA. Against RHB, Snead allowed them to batt .296, a 1.49WHIP, and 6HRA.

 

Closing Thoughts

With LHP Tim Mayza out for 2020, the Blue Jays are in the market for a lefty reliever. LHP Thomas Pannone should be considered the favorite to lay claim to this role; however, it is possible the organization still wants Pannone to start which could happen at Triple-A. That would definitely open the door for a guy like Kirby Snead.

 

Kirby Snead will get a long look during Spring Training but I expect he will end up landing in Triple-A for more seasoning. After all, if the Blue Jays front office felt he was ready for a job at the Major League level he would have been added to the 40-man roster.

 

 

 

Featured image credit: R.Mueller

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Ryan Mueller

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn't cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I'm more right.