The San Francisco Giants have added some relief pitching, as Will Smith is headed over from the Brewers (Jeff Passan reports). Alex Pavlovi reports that the return to the Brewers is minor-league pitcher Phil Bickford and catcher Andrew Susac.
Smith, 27, has a 3.68 ERA, 1.23 WHIP and 22 strikeouts in 22 innings this season. He got a late start due to a knee injury and then was exceptional for a bit. He had a 1.93 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .188/.264/.328 line through July 23. Since then, though, he's given up seven runs (five earned) on three walks and six hits in 3 1/3 innings, totally inflating his numbers.
Smith is a lefty, but he doesn't need to be a lefty specialist. Over the course of his career, righties have hit .259/.332/.421 while lefties have hit .253/.312/.411. So it's close to a wash.
How Smith fits in the late-inning picture will be interesting to watch. Santiago Casilla has gotten almost all of the save chances, but he's had his issues. Sergio Romo could also factor along with Smith. Again, don't look at Smith like a lefty specialist when they can use Javier Lopez in that role.
As for the return, it looks like a very good one for the Brewers. Bickford was the Giants' first-rounder in 2015. In 17 starts between Class A and Class A-Advanced this season, he's 5-6 with a 2.71 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 105 strikeouts in 93 innings.
Susac, 26, hit .218/.297/.368 with seven doubles, two triples and three homers in 148 plate appearances last season for the big-league Giants. In Triple-A this season, he's hitting .273/.343/.455. He was never going to be a full-time catcher, obviously, due to the presence of Buster Posey. Of course, he's not going to play a ton over Jonathan Lucroy, either, so maybe this is a precursor for the Brewers?
Perhaps the best aspect of this trade, at least the funniest, is the passing of the torch from retired Giants lefty reliever Jeremy Affeldt to Smith on the dumb injury front. Affledt was the king of dumb injuries, like when he sliced open his hand with a knife as he was attempting to separate frozen hamburger patties or hurt himself picking up his kid. This past spring, Smith hurt his knee wildly taking off his shoe. It's such a great fit, really.