The Los Angeles Angels don’t have to look any further for a reliable closer as Joe Smith has been everything and more since stepping into the role.
Smith is 2-for-2 in his first two save opportunities since taking the job with just one hit allowed in both appearances combined. In his second save opportunity on Tuesday against his former ball club the Cleveland Indians, the 30-year-old looked more confident than in his first crack at it as he had a 1-2-3 inning.
The right-hander’s success as the Halos’ new closer comes as no surprise, as he has been a reliable pitcher for much of the year. He has only given up four runs in 13 appearances, with all the runs allowed coming in one appearance. Outside of Michael Kohn, Smith has been the Halos’ most dependable arm out of the bullpen so far in 2014.
Smith, like Scott Downs before him, will be the Angels’ go-to arm in the bullpen and now even more so as the team’s closer. Despite this being a new role and experience for him, it is one that he looks ready to hold on to. If his first opportunities are any indication, he should be able to prove himself by providing the Halos with a sure-handed stopper they haven’t had since the days of Francisco Rodriguez.