Diamondbacks pitching staff takes big hit but you should see the other guy.
In a move that certainly is not going to be a major hit with the fans, Caleb Smith of the Arizona Diamondbacks sustained a broken hand.
This injury was not sustained on an actual baseball play, but by “punching something that he shouldn’t have been punching”, per manager Torey Lovullo.
Lovullo has expressed his frustrations with Smith, telling Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that Smith sustained the injury after coming out of Saturday’s game against the Phillies.
Diamondbacks: Caleb Smith has broken hand, will miss time
In the game against Philly, Smith relieved starting pitcher Corbin Martin in the fifth inning and ended up pitching two innings in relief, allowing two earned runs thanks to an Eddie Rosario RBI triple and an Orlando Arcia RBI single two batters later.
The past two seasons have not been kind to Smith, so his frustration is somewhat understandable but the move is certainly a selfish one, as he has now effectively removed himself from any games in the near future thanks to this injury.
After spending the first handful of seasons in his now-six-year MLB career exclusively as a starting pitcher, Smith has largely functioned as a reliever for the past two seasons in a Diamondbacks uniform.
Last year, he made 45 appearances (13 starts) and went 4-9 with a 4.83 ERA and a dreadful 5.10 FIP, allowing 20 home runs and surrendering 63 walks in just 113 innings.
So far, 2022 has not been much kinder to him. In 31 games (one start), Smith is 1-1 with a 4.66 ERA and a shockingly bad 6.04 FIP. FIP is essentially ERA without taking the fielders behind the pitcher into consideration. This means that his 4.66 ERA is as low as it is thanks to the defense behind him and it would be above 6.00 if it weren’t for the superior defenders behind him.
The 31-year old southpaw has managed just an 88 ERA+ on the season, surrendering 11 home runs in 48 innings while also posting a whopping 5.4 BB/9 rate. The argument could be made that Smith’s absence out of the Diamondbacks pen may actually be better for the club. He is not set to hit free agency until 2024 so for now, Arizona is stuck with him.