Photo from: AP Photo
He has arrived.
The man that has produced so much hope for a team that has not been known for a trusty bullpen, Carson Smith made his season debut on September 5th against the Toronto Blue Jays. The Red Sox bullpen, since 2015, has ranked 15 out of all 30 teams, with a mediocre 68-65 record, 8.96 K/9 and 9.2 WAR. The bullpen has definitely been the most frustrating part of the Red Sox for the last 3 seasons.
Smith has been the subject of conversation since the Red Sox acquired him in December of 2015. Especially because of his great stats and performances for the Seattle Mariners in the 2015 season (2.3 ERA, 92 strikeouts, 11.8 K/9).
His stats don’t paint the entire picture, however. If you have been keeping up with Carson throughout his appearances in the minors and his lone appearance in the majors, his Slider is clearly his coup de grace; his strikeout pitch. For a young pitcher to master his strikeout pitch is huge, it means that the hardest part of your development is as good as done.
I think I speak for every Red Sox fan when I say that Smith’s health is pivotal for his career going forward. He can be a staple in this bullpen for many years to come or a forgotten memory of a player that could have turned this bullpen from good to great.
Just getting over Tommy John surgery, he shouldn’t be rushed into things and John Farrell being a former pitching coach most likely realizes this (although we have seen crazier things from John). We should all be on the Carson Smith train moving forward.