As they search for pitching help, the San Francisco Giants have made yet another move on the waiver wire, claiming right-hander Burch Smith from the Milwaukee Brewers.
With Shaun Anderson on the disabled list and Conner Menez optioned to Triple-A, the San Francisco Giants currently have just three starting pitchers on the MLB roster.
Ace Madison Bumgarner will start on Tuesday, rookie Tyler Beede will take the ball on Wednesday, and veteran Jeff Samardzija will toe the rubber on Thursday.
The other two spots on the starting staff are up in the air, and there’s a chance we could see a recent waiver claim fill one of those spots:
So who is Burch Smith?
The 29-year-old has spent the bulk of this season pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers Triple-A affiliate, posting a solid 2.33 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with 85 strikeouts in 77.1 innings spanning 15 starts.
His brief time in the majors did not go as well, as he was knocked around to the tune of a 7.82 ERA with 16 hits and 10 walks allowed in 12.2 innings over seven relief appearances.
Still, he has the swing-and-miss stuff and the top prospect pedigree to be worthy of a roll if the dice.
Drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 14th round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Oklahoma, Smith quickly rose the organizational prospect ranks to open the 2014 season as the No. 8 prospect in the San Diego system, according to Baseball America.
Before the start of the 2015 season, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals in the three-team, 11-player trade that sent Trea Turner to the Washington Nationals, Wil Myers to the San Diego Padres and Steven Souza to the Tampa Bay Rays.
In parts of four seasons at the Triple-A level, Smith has posted a solid 3.21 ERA with 172 strikeouts in 160 innings, and that continues to inspire at least some level of optimism that he can be a useful MLB arm.
That being said, he has found little success in the majors to this point with a 6.87 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 127 innings with the San Padres, Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers.
With a mid-90s fastball that he backs with a curveball and changeup, all from a durable 6’4″, 225-pound frame, Smith certainly has the look of a big-league starter.
Time will tell if Burch Smith gets a chance to prove himself in a San Francisco Giants uniform. There’s certainly an opportunity for someone to step up and help fortify the starting staff.