A day after losing Hector Velazquez to a lower back strain, the Red Sox got more bad news today in the form of Carson Smith’s right shoulder/arm. Apparently, after he gave up a home run and left yesterday’s game in the middle of the eighth inning, Smith let out his frustration by throwing his glove in the Red Sox dugout. According to the tweet from Evan Drellich above, that throwing of the glove may have been costly for the righty reliever, as he is now set to miss an extended period of time on the disabled list.
Ever since the Red Sox acquired Smith prior to the 2016 season, there has been pretty lofty expectations placed upon his shoulder. He was made out to be this borderline elite arm who could pitch in the seventh, eighth, or even ninth inning. Since the beginning of the 2016 season, the Texas native has appeared in only 29 games with the Red Sox, and owns a 2.66 ERA over that span.
In a short tenure that’s been riddled with multiple injuries, this season looked like the one where Smith was going to put it all together as a member of the Red Sox bullpen. With all of those injuries keeping him sidelined in the past, this is the most relief work he has gotten in three years. Although Red Sox fans may not have had the most confidence in the 28-year-old up to this point, losing him for an extended amount of time certainly won’t help things with an already shaky Red Sox bullpen.
Lefty Bobby Poyner has taken Smith’s spot on the 25-man roster, and Steven Wright took Hector Velazquez’s spot yesterday. Just a few moments ago, Dave Dombrowski said the Red Sox bullpen is, “not an area of concern”, which in my mind, is completely false. But there’s nothing to gain from the President of Baseball Operations saying he has no confidence in his teams bullpen.
I’m sure once the trade deadline rolls around in July, the Red Sox will be in the market for a reliever or two that are on expiring contracts. That’s not for a while though, and for now, the Red Sox bullpen needs to prove they can be reliable outside of Craig Kimbrel and Joe Kelly. If they do that, then maybe the Red Sox can break out of this .500 rut they’ve been on the past three-plus weeks.