Snell opts to retire instead of going to minors with Cardinals

Ian Snell tosses the ball during a workout last month in Jupiter, Fla. Snell has decided to retire after the Cardinals optioned him to the minor leagues Tuesday.

Ian Snell tosses the ball during a workout last month in Jupiter, Fla. Snell has decided to retire after the Cardinals optioned him to the minor leagues Tuesday. Photo by The Associated Press.

JUPITER, Fla. (AP) — Ian Snell decided to retire at age 29 after the St. Louis Cardinals optioned him to the minors.

The right-hander signed a minor-league deal in January after going 0-5 with 6.41 ERA in 12 games, eight of them starts, for the Seattle Mariners last season. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Snell decided to quit before Tuesday’s spring game against the Atlanta Braves.

The Cardinals had anticipated Snell starting the season at Triple-A Memphis.The move leaves them with 42 healthy players in camp.

“The initial hope was he was going to be someone who could give us protection at Memphis,” Mozeliak said. “Someone is going to have to step up. It’s not a huge hit to us at this point.”

Snell pitched in one game, working two innings and allowing two runs March 3. Since then he appeared in two “B” games, the last Monday when he gave up two runs in an inning against Atlanta.

Snell is 38-53 with a 4.80 ERA in seven full seasons. He had a career-high 14 victories in 2006 and nine wins with a 3.76 ERA in 2007, and was the Pirates’ opening-day starter in 2009.

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