The Miami Marlins have claimed left-handed pitcher Josh Smith off waivers from the Indians., per an official team announcement. The 29-year-old Smith, who made eight appearances for the Indians this year, will join his new team on Monday, while infielder JT Riddle has been transferred to the 60-day injured list. Smith had been designated for assignment yesterday.
While a 29-year-old rookie is certainly not a headline-grabbing acquisition, Smith does offer some intrigue beneath the surface. And for a Marlins team that needs talent from wherever it can be had, this has the potential to be an interesting addition. It’s a low-cost tryout for player that could turn into a fine reliever.
In his eighth year as a professional, Smith is enjoying arguably his best minor-league season since the Pirates made him their 25th-round draft choice in 2012. This year, he’s shredding Triple-A hitters, striking out an average of 12.6 batters per nine innings, en route to a 2.43 ERA.
He’s yet to translate those results into success at the big-league level, as he has surrendered five runs in his first 8 1/3 innings of work. However, it’s been just a handful of games, and he’s managed to strike out 12 batters in that same span. Smith’s flyball tendencies and a high LOB% in the minors might lead to some early struggles in the Majors, but the Marlins will look to mitigate those concerns and tap into an attractive high-strikeout profile that has produced a 22.7 K-BB% in the minors.