Houston Astros reliever Joe Smith has been solid since the team acquired him this past off season. Here are 3 reasons why he must make the playoff roster.
The Houston Astros have a date with the Cleveland Indians to start out their run for a second World Series this Friday at Minute Maid Park. It’s incredible how fast the season has went for this team and as they meandered through the highs and lows, they still managed to eke out the best record in franchise history.
That certainly means something to Houston Astros faithful as it indicates that this team hasn’t missed a beat plus has gotten even better after a shorter off season than usual. These guys are as fierce as they come when it comes to competitiveness and it makes me so damn proud that this franchise is enjoying a nice renaissance of sorts over the past few seasons.
The matchup with the Indians will, of course, not be an easy one but it’s definitely something the Houston Astros can handle. The Houston Astros have immense firepower on the offensive front in addition to being able to churn out amazing plays on defense. Our bullpen will be equipped to last through the tough times while the Indians will likely struggle when our offensive geniuses put the pressure on them.
Looking for more Houston Astros roster talk? Take a listen to guys at Houston Sports Talk, my favorite pod with Robert Land and R.G. Seal who bring former Astros broadcaster Bill Brown to provide his insight:
While we’re talking about it, the Houston Astros had the Bullpen ERA for 2018, finishing at a terrific 3.03 mark while the Indians were ranked 25th at a gaudy 4.60.
The Indians won’t be able to outlast this team but I think they’ll give it a nice go and make this a competitive series. Tough times never last but tough people do and the Houston Astros are the epitome of my aforementioned mantra.
No. It’s veteran reliever Joe Smith.
Reason #1 — The Intel Aspect
Why? Smith spent parts of six seasons with the Indians and he knows them like the back of his
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hand and will provide valuable intelligence in regard to his opponent’s tendencies. This will also bode well for him when he gets on the bump. How sweet will it be to see Smith finish off Francisco Lindor with one of his power sliders with some heavy sidearm action? That’s a man I want on the mound in relief when the times are tense and I think he’ll be fine under pressure.
Reason #2 — The Lefty Specialist
One of the reasons why Smith is here is because of his ability to handle different types of batters. Although he’s a right-hander in every sense of the word, he’s more of like a lefty specialist because he still has the ability to get guys out regardless. In retrospect, right-handers have a batting average of .214 against Smith and left-handers have an even more impressive .191 BA. That’s outstanding and with those types of numbers, he’s in an excellent position to succeed.
Reason #3 — He doesn’t walk that many guys
Smith has missed some time with injuries this season but when he’s healthy, he’s like the Human Torch! FLAME ON! Out of all of the relievers that have pitched at least 35 innings this season, he has walked the fewest amount of batters (12) which is terrific when one is trying to minimize not loading up the bases.
He’s the guy you want out there when the bases are empty because there’s a good chance he’s not going to load them up. The damage that’s normally done to him is the form of earned runs to which he has 19 of them on the season along with seven homers, still not too shabby of a mark in comparison to the rest of the staff.
So that’s my stand about Smith, what’s yours? Feel free to let me know in the comments section below.
It’s go time for the Houston Astros and I’m ready!