UPDATE — Smith will undergo Tommy John surgery this week, according to the team. He will unfortunately miss the entire 2017 season.
ORIGINAL — Giants lefty reliever Will Smith reported elbow discomfort and will likely undergo an MRI, reports Alex Pavlovic of CSN Bay Area. Smith left today’s spring training game in the eight inning due to the pain.
This deals a pretty significant blow to the Giants’ bullpen. Smith was brought to San Francisco last year at the trade deadline in a deal involving sending Andrew Susac and Phil Bickford to the Brewers. The Giants control Smith through 2019 via arbitration while he makes $2.5M for the year. The MRI will determine the severity of the injury. Even if it comes back all clear, Smith will likely be resting for the remainder of spring training for precautionary reasons.
While in the Giants bullpen, San Fran’s main southpaw threw a 2.95 ERA over the course of 18 1/3 innings. He struck out 26 and gave up only 13 hits.
Elbow issues are not new to Smith, and the 27-year old only sat about a month to recover when he had elbow inflammation in February. Hopefully this ache will just be a continuation of previous problems and not a more serious development. Regardless, it looks like the Giants will have an open spot in their bullpen come Opening Day, potentially, as Pavlovic notes, making way for Josh Osich and Steven Okert to snatch up roster spots.