32-Year-Old Pitcher – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Smith turned in the best season of his career with the Angels in 2014, but regressed in almost every significant statistical category last season. While it probably wasn't realistic to expect Smith to...
Joe Smith Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, $15.75 million contract with the Angels in November of 2013.
Smith (hamstring) was activated from the disabled list Thursday, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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Joe Smith Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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2016 Stat Review for Joe Smith As compared to the top 100 relief pitchers in 2015 (min 55 in)
A collection of stats that measure different skills.
A few general measures of a pitcher's effectiveness.
Balls in play avg. and % of runners left stranded.
Joe Smith: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Smith was brought in on a three-year, $15.75 deal in November of 2013 to be the Angels' setup man, but was called on to be the closer when Ernesto Frieri struggled and was later traded to the Pirates in June. Smith thrived in the role, recording 15 saves, including 10 in a row, but was relegated back to his post in the eighth inning when Huston Street was acquired from the Padres in July. Regardless of his role, Smith's first season as a member of the Halos was a resounding success, as he had what may have been his best campaign in the major leagues, notching career-best marks in ERA (1.81), walk rate (5.3%) and innings pitched (74.2). The walk rate may be unsustainable, as his career mark is 9.2%, but Smith has now logged an ERA below 3.00 in four consecutive seasons, and should continue to be effective in the late innings in 2015.
Smith cobbled together another fine season out of the Cleveland bullpen, but still has enough wobble in his command to take that next step forward. He handles lefties well enough to avoid many matchup issues, but a moderate strikeout rate keeps him from putting up dominant numbers. The Angels saw enough potential value in Smith to give him a three-year deal in November, and he's expected to serve as part of the bridge to their closer in a late-inning role.
Smith enjoyed another fine season out of the Cleveland bullpen in a late-inning role thanks to some continued success against left-handed batters (.585 OPS in 111 plate appearances). He's still got enough wobble with his command and strikeout rate to avoid moving up a notch among setup men, and would seem to be behind Vinnie Pestano in the pecking order for saves if something were to happen to Chris Perez. Despite the seemingly lack of upside for save opportunities, Smith should continue to post solid numbers in a relief role for Cleveland.
Smith was effective despite a low (6.04 K/9IP) strikeout rate as he finally found a way to get left-handed batters out on a consistent basis, limiting them to a meager .460 OPS in 90 plate appearances. He'll team up with Vinnie Pestano to give the Indians a pair of right-handed options to set up closer Chris Perez, but he's nowhere near the top of the list in terms of replacing Perez in the event of injury or ineffectiveness.
Smith got off to a slow start last season thanks to a knee injury but got back on track, posting a 3.83 ERA and a 1.350 WHIP in 53 appearances out of the Cleveland bullpen. He eats up righties, but has enough trouble against lefties (.925 OPS in his career) to limit his usage and value. He'll be back in a non-closing role for the Indians again this year.
Smith got off to a late start thanks to an illness in spring training and a shoulder injury in May, but posted his second straight serviceable season upon returning. Lefties continue to give him enough problems (.320/.424/.484 for his career) to dismiss any real talk of taking over the closer duties if Kerry Wood is dealt, but he chewed up righties again (.217/.307/.330 career, .198/.271/.344 last year) to give the Indians a nice late-inning match-up chip. His struggles against lefties will keep him from taking the next step up however.
Smith got off to a strong start, then faded in the middle, possibly due to being overworked, but closed with a flourish. His 94 mph sinking fastball and hard slider was the death of many right-handed batters, limiting them to a .192 BA, but his changeup - which he developed to neutralize lefties - was subpar last season, as southpaws hit .320 against him. Smith was traded to the Indians as part of a three-team deal with Seattle that landed the Mets J.J. Putz. In Cleveland, he'll likely will be a set-up man for new closer Kerry Wood.
Smith blazed through spring training, utilizing his 94 mph sinking fastball and hard slider to retire right-handed batters and changeup - which drops off the table - to neutralize lefties and broke camp with the team. Smith dominated the first two months of the year, throwing 17 scoreless appearances at one stretch, before overuse took some of the bite off his slider and hitters learned to lay off it to get ahead in the count. Smith also saw the velocity off his fastball dip dramatically while his pitches stayed up in the zone, two more true signs of fatigue. A week off without pitching after his demotion to the minors helped, but he then went through a bout of bicep tendinitis and was hit after being called back to the majors. The Mets expect Smith to earn a spot in their bullpen, but it wouldn't be surprising if he opened 2008 at Triple-A New Orleans.