The pitching depth for the Milwaukee Brewers took a minor hit today, as it has been announced that the team lost right-handed reliever Burch Smith on a waiver claim to the San Francisco Giants. Smith was designated for assignment on August 9th to create space on the 40-man roster for the return of Hernan Perez.
ROSTER MOVES:— San Francisco Giants (@SFGiants) August 12, 2019
• LHP Conner Menez optioned to AAA Sacramento.
• RHP Burch Smith claimed off waivers from Milwaukee. He will report to AAA Sacramento.
• RHP Ryan Dull designated for assignment.#SFGiants
Smith, 29, signed a minor league contract with Milwaukee back in January and began the season in Triple-A. He fashioned himself into the ace of the Missions’ starting rotation, posting a 2.33 ERA across 15 starts and 77.1 innings while allowing only 5.7 H/9 and an opponent batting average of .181 to go along with 85 strikeouts against 37 walks. Deserved Run Average views his work for San Antonio at a whopping 62% better than league average, or a sparkling 38 DRA-.
Smith was strictly a reliever for the Brewers during his stints in the big leagues, working mostly in mop-up duty and covering multiple innings in five of his seven appearances. He totaled 12.2 innings and yielded 11 earned runs with 14 punchouts versus 10 free passes. In 127.0 innings and 55 games across parts of three big league seasons, Smith owns a 6.87 ERA.
Once considered a top-100 level prospect throughout the league, Smith first surfaced in the big leagues in 2013 and was frequently touted for his high-octane fastball. But he missed two full seasons with injury in 2015 and 2016 and averaged only 93.0 MPH on his heater during his brief sample this year. Even though his “stuff” is considered to be more on the pedestrian side these days, Smith still was able to generate swinging-strikes at a healthy 12.4% rate this season. If the Giants — or some other team — can eventually help him reign in his command, Smith could still have the potential to be a useful bullpen piece.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and Baseball Prospectus