Is Joe Smith The Most Underrated Reliever This Year?

By Johnny Machurek

Joe Smith is not a name many people outside of the Cleveland Indians fan base would know.  Part of the Bullpen Mafia in Cleveland, Smith has had a very successful season for the Tribe.

Smith has appeared in 46 games for the Indians with 43 IP and a 1.26 ERA.  Before surrendering a walk-off homer to Jacoby Ellsbury, Smith’s ERA was a 1.06 and Ellsbury’s solo blast was the only homerun he has allowed this year.  In fact that was only the sixth earned run that Smith has allowed all year.

Smith has had some pretty impressive stretches this year coming out of the pen.  Before entering the game last night against the Boston Red Sox Smith had allowed two earned runs in his last 36 appearances, 34.2 innings including allowing no runs at all in June.  July was a good month for Smith 14.2 IP, 1.23 ERA, six hits, two runs they were earned, zero home runs, five walks, and 15 strikeouts.

With a bullpen whose only name people really know is Chris Perez should Joe Smith be discussed as a quality reliever?

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