We have heard little about Carson Smith this spring. Only that he is recovering from Tommy John surgery and won’t be available to pitch until June. But last October, Daniel Cassese of Bosox Injection produced a piece entitled “Carson Smith: Forgotten Arm on the Boston Red Sox”. Cassese went deep into statistics. Some of the highlights:
“The much anticipated Sox bullpen led by Craig Kimbrel, Koji Uehara, Carson Smith and Junichi Tazawa never were really given the oppprtunity to show how dominant they could have been over the course of a full season (in 2016). ….It seems as though people forget how good the trade the Smith for (Wade) Miley looks from a Red Sox perspective….But Miley (2-5, 6.17 ERA in Seattle) did everything in his power to make that trade a win for Boston….Despite throwing just 48 pitches in 2016, Smith could be an x-factor in the Sox bullpen. The thing is Smith was really, really good in Seattle. Over 78 innings pitched with the Mariners, he struck out 104 batters and walked just 24, good for an 11.7 K/9 and 4.08 K-BB ratio. …So what can we hope to see of him in 2017? My not-so-bold prediction: strikeouts, and a lot of them. Steamer projects Smith to average 9.09 K/9…but that’s likely a conservative estimate based on his past injuries…..He held righties to a 1.67/.248/.254 slash line in 2015, while his xFLIP of 1.77 was good for second best among pitchers with greater than 30 innings pitched….that’s unbelievable against right-handed batters but risks injury because of an unothordox delivery.
More on Smith’s minor league career tomorrow