Smith posted a 4.00 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 10:7 K:BB through nine innings before spring training was suspended. While the strikeouts were nice, the free passes were a little concerning, and when opposition batters were able to make contact they did damage -- two of the four hits Smith allowed left the yard. The southpaw is locked into a rotation spot for the Marlins, but after a dazzling first half and poor second half in 2019, he's hoping to find some consistency this season. If Smith returns to his form from early last year, he could become a valuable trade chip for a Miami club still far from contention.
Smith tossed two scoreless innings in his first Grapefruit League action Friday, giving up one hit and two walks while striking out three, Christina De Nicola of MLB.com reports. The southpaw threw 19 of 35 pitches for strikes against an Astros lineup featuring plenty of regulars, and Smith's slider appeared to be in midseason form already. "I think we've seen, when he's healthy, what it looks like," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "After the hip [injury last season], it seemed like he never really got back on track the same way. And I think that he was behind coming into spring last year because of the lat [surgery], so probably didn't have the same type of work in the winter. [I'm] confident that, with a full winter of health and now getting him into the season, hopefully we're going to get that healthier guy all year long." Smith is penciled into a spot near the top of the Miami rotation this year, but the 28-year-old will need to stay healthy if he's going to prove his early season success in 2019 was no fluke.
Smith (10-11) took the loss Saturday at Philadelphia after allowing six runs (five earned). Smith gave up runs in all three frames as he labored with 71 pitches Saturday, and to make things worse he also bunted into a double play during his lone at-bat. The 28-year-old finishes 2019 with a 4.52 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 168:60 K:BB over 153.1 innings, but he really struggled in his final 12 outings with a 6.25 ERA.
Smith (10-10) got the win against the Mets on Monday, giving up four earned runs on seven hits over six innings, striking out three and walking four as the Marlins won 8-4. Smith was cruising until the sixth inning, when he loaded the bases and gave up all four of his runs on one swing of the bat courtesy of a grand slam from Amed Rosario. Still, he missed a quality start by just one earned run and did enough to reach double-digit wins for the first time in his career. The 28-year-old has a 4.31 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 167:56 K:BB across 150.1 innings on the season.
Smith (9-10) got the win against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, giving up four earned runs on eight hits over five innings, striking out four and walking one as the Marlins prevailed 12-6. It wasn't a dominating effort, but it was enough for Smith to pick up his ninth win of the season, in a game where his teammates provided him with a lot of run support. The left-hander now has a 4.24 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 164:52: K:BB across 144.1 innings on the season. He lines up to take on the Mets in his next start in a road matchup Monday.