Posted by Reese Kaplan at 12:04 PM
Lefty strikeout specialist Josh Smoker got the call and this time he might actually get into a game. Given the sad state of bullpen exhaustion the Skipper may have no choice but to use a (gasp!) rookie at some point during the next few games. Smoker is a former first round pick of the Washington Nationals and was derailed by some arm trouble in the past (so he should fit right in here). Still, Sports Illustrated thought rather highly of him:
Smoker now touches 98 mph with his fastball and sits comfortably in the 95-96 mph range. He backs it up with both a slider and a splitter with some sink to it. Both are keys to Smoker's development and both have the chance to be average offerings. He blew hitters away with his fastball in 2015, but he will need more consistent secondary stuff to have success at the highest level.
Smoker has worked his way from being just about done to on the brink of impacting a big league bullpen. Continued health and some refinement could make him more than a lefty specialist.