Pirates' patience runs out on Snell

Updated: June 25, 2009, 4:23 PM ET
Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Ian Snell, the Pittsburgh Pirates' No. 2 starter, has been demoted to the minors after winning only once in his past 12 starts.

The former 14-game winner was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday to work on throwing more first-pitch strikes and improving his breaking ball.

The Pirates did not say who would make Snell's start on Sunday against Kansas City.

Snell is 2-8 with a 5.36 ERA in 15 starts, allowing 87 hits in 80 2/3 innings.

Snell's demotion means the Pirates' top two starters at the beginning of the 2008 season, Tom Gorzelanny and Snell, will be at Indianapolis.

Gorzelanny was sent down at midseason last year and has spent all but a couple of weeks in Triple-A this season.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press