The SF Giants have not gotten much return on their investment of $32 million into Blake Snell thus far. He has struggled when on the mound and is currently on the IL. However, he is set to begin his rehab assignment this Sunday.

This news comes via Shayna Rubin of the San Francisco Chronicle. She reported that Snell will throw a bullpen session on May 9th and the hope is that he will not have a setback and will proceed to pitch in a rehab game in San Jose on Sunday.

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This is certainly encouraging news for the Giants. Even though Snell has struggled for the Giants thus far, we know how dominant a healthy and dealing Blake Snell can be. The guy did not win two Cy Young awards by accident.

The nice thing is that the rotation has been rather solid this year so the Giants should not feel like Snell needs to be rushed back. Mason Black is the current occupant of Snell’s spot in the rotation as he is on the mend, and his debut in Philadelphia suggests that the Giants should be comfortable letting him start one or two more games until Snell is ready to come back.\

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It will be interesting to see how Snell looks when he comes back. One criticism he has received is that he did not go down to the minors to start some games prior to joining the big league club despite the fact that he signed with the team in the middle of March. Looking back, he may have benefited from a start or two in Triple-A to shake off some of the rust and build up his arm strength.

However, the past is the past. Now Snell must try to improve going forward. These rehab starts could be very good for him not just in terms of getting his body ready, but also to allow him to better compete when he is on the mound with the Giants.

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His last start with the Giants came against the Nationals and he looked much better than his first few starts. He was just an out or two away from recording a quality start before things got away from him. If he can come back healthy and build upon that progression, then perhaps we will see the Snell we all hoped the Giants were getting when they signed him sooner rather than later.