In the age of sports science, what used to be conventional wisdom has been turned upside down.

The NFL wants to eliminate two pre-season games as teams are resting starters for most or all of the four games. The same could be said for MLB spring training. What used to be filled with major leaguers has become triple-A players wearing professional logos for February and March.

However, Blake Snell wants to sound the alarm for the importance of practice.

The former Cy Young did not receive a proper ramp-up going into the 2024 season after signing a two-year $62 million deal with the San Francisco Giants on March 27, the first week of the new baseball season. After only four innings on Monday against the Philadelphia Phillies while allowing a home run, Snell opened up to the media about his lack of sharpness.

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“It’s not easy,” he said. “I didn’t face a big league hitter until I pitched my first game in the big leagues this year. It’s tough. You just have nothing to go off of. You’re kind of like let’s see what we got.”

He looks nothing like the starter who went 180 innings last year with a 2.25 ERA with the San Diego Padres. The lefty is winless to start the year, with a record of 0-3 after five appearances. He allowed 15 runs in three starts during April before landing on the IL with an adductor strain. He went just 3 1/3 innings in his first time on the mound against Pittsburgh before facing the Phillies a week later.

The Giants are doing all they can to stay afloat while waiting for their ace to round into form. The Bay Area ballclub is 7-3 over their last ten, but only 29-28. Snell’s squad sits 6.5 games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers as the calendar flips over to June but is currently a wildcard spot by 0.5 games.

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