The San Francisco Giants received some bad news after left-handed relief pitcher Will Smith had an MRI to re-examine his throwing elbow.
Smith’s MRI exam showed structural concerns with the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow, according to team general manager Bobby Evans from a report by Giants beat writer Andrew Baggarly.
Team orthopedist Dt. Ken Akizuki will examine Smith today (Tuesday) in San Francisco.
Also, according to reports from Baggarly, even if Tommy John surgery is ruled out, Evans says the team expects Smith to miss “significant time.”
Smith missed the first three weeks of Cactus League games with inflammation in his pitching elbow. The MRI the team did then did not reveal any structural damage.
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This is a crushing blow to a bullpen who is without many veterans from last year’s staff. Jake Peavy, Javier Lopez, Sergio Romo and Santiago Casilla are all gone, and Smith was expected to be one of the veterans the Giants bullpen would lean on.
With Smith out, rookies Ty Blach and Steven Okert, as well as second year player Josh Osich, are the remaining left-handed relief options with Major League experience fighting for a bullpen job. Non-roster Invitees Matt Reynolds, MIchael Roth and Kraig Sitton are also left-handed.
Smith performed well over 18 innings for the Giants down the stretch and into the postseason.
We will continue to update you with the latest on injury news from the Cactus League at Around the Foghorn.