Smith was placed on the 10-day disabled list Tuesday with a right shoulder subluxation, Rob Bradford of WEEI.com reports.
According to Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston, Smith injured his arm after throwing his glove in the dugout following his outing against the Athletics on Monday. He remains without a timetable for his return, but it sounds like the Red Sox are gearing up for an extended absence, as President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said "its got the potential of being a major injury." Smith is headed for a second opinion on the injury and should be considered out indefinitely for the time being. Bobby Poyner was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket in a corresponding move and will take his spot in the bullpen.
Manager Alex Cora feels Smith's stuff has gotten better since the start of the season, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports.
Smith was expected to be a trusted setup man out of the pen, but has a 5.87 ERA through 7.2 innings (10 games). Some of that high ERA is skewed by early results, when Smith gave up two runs each in a pair of outings during the first week of the season. Since then, the right-hander had five scoreless outings before allowing a run Thursday. "You can see it. The slider is a lot better," said Cora. "It's just a matter of putting guys away has been difficult for him throughout the first few weeks, but we do feel that he's turning a corner." Despite the positive words from the manager, Cora's actions suggest he's still not ready to call on Smith in high-leverage situations.
Smith (0-1) walked the first batter faced and allowed two runs on two hits while striking out one in Thursday's 6-4 loss to the Rays.
The game was in good hands over the first seven innings -- thanks to Chris Sale and Matt Barnes -- but manager Alex Cora's eighth-inning decisions blew up. Smith was brought in to squelch a dumpster fire created by Joe Kelly (three walks), but he was no fireman Thursday. Cora never once thought of using closer Craig Kimbrel as the wheels came off, nor was lefty Bobby Poyner considered to face left-handed batter Denard Span, who turned on a Smith fastball for a bases-clearing triple. Cora will not overreact to one game -- both Smith and Kelly should be in the setup mix -- but command his paramount in these situations.
Smith will be used at any spot in the final third of a game, Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald reports.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora envisions a variety roles for Smith, who had a nice September run for Boston, posting a 1.35 ERA over 6.2 innings. With his trademark slider, Smith is a nice change-of-pace out of a bullpen that features a several four-seam guys. He could work his way into a few save opportunities along the way, if Cora sticks with his plan to use closer Craig Kimbrel in high-leverage situations outside of traditional closing opportunities.
It turns out Smith and the Red Sox will avoid arbitration after settling on a one-year deal to bring the reliever back. The 28-year-old righty missed most of the 2017 season while working his way back from Tommy John surgery, though he was able to make his season debut in September and finished the year with a 1.35 ERA and seven strikeouts across 6.2 innings of work. Smith has pitched just 9.1 innings over the past two seasons due to injuries, but if he's able to return to his pre-surgery form, he should easily work his way back into a setup role for the Red Sox in 2018.
|5/20/2018 vs Baltimore|
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|2012||AFA-High Desert Maverick||5||1||2.90||49||0||0||0||15||62.0||54||22||20||2||5||28||77|
|2016||AA-Portland Sea Dogs||0||0||0.00||2||0||0||0||0||1.2||0||0||0||0||0||0||2|
|2017||AAA-Pawtucket Red Sox||1||1||4.15||10||0||0||0||0||8.2||10||5||4||0||0||3||6|
|2017||AA-Portland Sea Dogs||0||1||54.00||1||1||0||0||0||0.1||0||2||2||0||0||3||0|