The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

July 19, 2009

Pirates Notebook: Snell unlikely to return to Pirates

PITTSBURGH — Ian Snell is overwhelming the competition at Class AAA Indianapolis.

However, don’t expect to see the right-hander back in a Pittsburgh Pirates’ uniform any time soon.

Snell told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Joe Starkey in Sunday’s editions that he does not want to return to the Pirates because he feels he was made the scapegoat for much of the team’s problems.

“Ian has said publicly that he does not want to be here,” Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said Sunday before a 4-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants at PNC Park. “It would be hard to bring him back to a clubhouse with 24 other guys when he has said he does not want to play here. I just don’t see how that could possibly work right now unless things would change with Ian.”

Snell has gone 2-1 with a 0.34 ERA in four starts after being optioned to Indianapolis last month. He was 2-8 with a 5.36 ERA in 15 starts for the Pirates and claimed he asked them to be farmed out because he was hurting the team.

Huntington admitted that it is the first time he has ever heard of a player wanting to play at a lower level.

“When I was a farm director (with Cleveland) the worry you always had was that a player might become disruptive when he was sent to a lower level,” Huntington said. “That hasn’t been the case at all with Ian. He’s done all his work and he’s been a good teammate.

“It’s a very odd situation, to say the least. We’ll work through it and hopefully it will rectify itself.”

The New York Yankees are believed to be interested in Snell and Huntington said multiple teams have inquired about the

27-year-old. However, Huntington is not willing to give Snell away.

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