A shoulder injury delayed the start of Kirby Snead’s season, but he later joined a long list of relievers that cycled in and out of the Oakland Athletics bullpen in 2023 without making much of a mark.
Snead came to the A’s from the Toronto Blue Jays along with Gunnar Hoglund, Zach Logue and Kevin Smith in exchange for Matt Chapman. Hoglund is now the only player remaining in the organization.
What were the expectations?
Snead appeared in 46 games with the Athletics in 2022 while posting a 5.84 ERA and a 4.61 FIP in 44 2⁄3 innings. A shoulder injury landed him on the 60-day injured list in March and dampened pretty much any expectations that were had for him going into the season.
Snead returned from the shoulder injury in mid-June. He wouldn’t see any significant time on the active roster until the start of August. During his month long stay at the major league level, he appeared in 15 games while allowing seven hits, six earned runs in 11 2⁄3 innings pitched. He walked six, struck out nine and uncorked three wild pitches in a tiny sample. Snead returned to Triple A on September 4 and finished the season at Las Vegas. He had a 7.59 ERA and a 7.61 FIP in 21 1⁄3 innings with the Aviators across 23 games.
What went right? What went wrong?
The shoulder injury was a significant setback. Snead was able to work his way back to the major league roster, but failed to make much of a mark in the majors or at Triple A. Left-handed hitters hit .320 against him and had a .480 slugging percentage in a small sample at the major league level. It is hard to find much to be positive about other than he was able to return after the shoulder injury, but still he clearly wasn’t effective.
Oakland outrighted Snead off the 40-man roster at the end of the season and he elected free agency. He just turned 29 and will likely be able to latch on somewhere for another opportunity provided he has put the shoulder issue behind him.