Left-hander Blake Snell threw two solid innings for triple-A Durham in his second rehab start Thursday night, retiring all six batters he faced on 28 pitches as he continues to work his way back from an elbow injury.
Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash said via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that reports of Snell's outing were "very, very encouraging." Cash added that Snell texted team trainers and said he felt "significantly better" than he did after his first rehab start.
Topkin reports Snell will visit the Rays Friday in California where the two sides will decide if he needs to throw in a simulated game or is set to return to big league action. If he's ready to return, Topkin adds it could be against the Los Angeles Dodgers next week.
Snell has not pitched since July 21 and had arthroscopic elbow surgery to remove loose bodies on July 29.
After winning the Cy Young Award last season, 2019 has been a different story for Snell, who is 6-7 with a 4.28 ERA in 20 starts. Despite the high ERA, Snell has allowed just 91 hits in 101.0 frames and is striking out a career-best 12.1 batters per nine innings.
The Rays -- who sit 0.5 games ahead of the Cleveland Indians for the second AL wild-card spot -- will visit the Los Angeles Angels to begin a three-game series Friday night.