San Francisco Giants: Closer Options
The Giants knew they needed to address their bullpen prior to the non-waiver trade deadline—if not through adding a closer, then at least a strong late-innings guy. They failed to nab any of the superior arms on the market, such as Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller, and ended up getting Will Smith from Milwaukee.
It was a solid though uninspiring acquisition.
After a strong 2015 season, during which he posted a 2.70 ERA and averaged three strikeouts every two innings, Smith was supposed to be Milwaukee’s closer this year before an early-season injury derailed that plan.
He managed 22 so-so innings for the Brewers this season before the Giants picked him up: a 3.68 ERA and one K per inning. But he has struggled in six appearances since coming to San Francisco, allowing four earned runs in 2-2/3 innings.
Maybe his struggles are due to how he is being used, as a lefty specialist. Or maybe it shouldn’t be classified as “struggles,” since it’s such a small sample size. Either way, he has yet to toss a complete inning in any of his appearances for the Giants, which suggests the Giants don’t view him as a potential closer. Even if they did, he hasn’t pitched well enough this season to justify using him in that roll.