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38 Joe Smith RP
Height/Weight: 6-2/210 | Birthdate: 3/22/1984 | Birthplace: Cincinnati, OH | Bats/Throws: R/R | Team: Los Angeles | College: Wright State | MLB Experience: 8 | Salary: $3,150,000 | Owned/Started%: 42/28 | Average Draft Position: 293.16
LAA

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Joe Smith picks up relief win over Tigers


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/27/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith (4-0) picked up a relief win Sunday against the Tigers.

Smith needed nine pitches to retire the side in order in the eighth inning. David Freese smacked a go-ahead solo home run in the eighth, which proved to be the difference. He owns a 2.08 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP over 47 2/3 innings of relief.

Joe Smith may be here to stay


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/15/2014) For most of this season, Angels manager Mike Scioscia has maintained that he'd prefer to keep Joe Smith's role flexible rather than confine him to the ninth inning, which has understandably kept him buried in my relief pitcher rankings. Why expect him to keep closing if his manager doesn't want him closing?

But according to the Orange County Register, everything changed when the Angels traded failed closer Ernesto Frieri to the Pirates for also-failed closer Jason Grilli. Scioscia apparently trusts Grilli to fill Smith's seventh- and eighth-inning void better than he trusted Frieri to. At least, that's what I get out of this quote:

"Joe Smith is really comfortable in that ninth inning," Scioscia said. "That frees up Grilli and [Kevin Jepsen] to be used in the seventh or eighth. Joe might give you the ground ball and they give you the strikeout. You can use those guys in the seventh and that helps us shorten the game."

Smith really is comfortable in the ninth inning, allowing a total of one baserunner in 10 appearances with Frieri out of the picture. He now has a 0.89 WHIP for the season. Because those Huston Street-to-the-Angels rumors persist, I still can't move him much higher than 33rd in my relief pitcher rankings (29th in Rotisserie), but as I recently wrote in the Fantasy Baseball Today blog, he has top-20 potential in the role.


Joe Smith tosses 1-2-3 frame for the save


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/13/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith tossed another 1-2-3 frame for the save Sunday afternoon against the Rangers in Arlington. Smith struck out one and needed only 11 pitches to secure a 10-7 victory. He is 15 for 19 in save opportunities, with a 2.32 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP over 42 2/3 innings of relief.

Joe Smith Ks two in perfect frame for the save Saturday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/12/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith struck out two in a perfect ninth inning to secure a 5-2 win and the save Saturday night against the Rangers in Arlington. Smith is now 14 for 18 in save opportunities, with a 2.38 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP over 41 2/3 innings of relief.


Joe Smith registers 13th save Friday night


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith registered the save Friday night against the Rangers.

Smith needed just 12 pitches to complete a perfect frame. He is 13 for 17 in save chances, with a 2.43 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP over 40 2/3 innings of relief. 


Joe Smith picks up the save Wednesday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith picked up a save Wednesday against the Blue Jays.

Smith pitched a perfect inning, striking out two batters. He got Jose Reyes to fly out to left to end the game. Of the 13 pitches he threw, 10 were strikes. Smith notched his 12th save. His ERA sits at 2.50 on the year. 


Joe Smith pitches clean inning for 11th save


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/8/2014) Angels closer Joe Smith picked up his 11th save Monday, tossing a 1-2-3 ninth inning to finish off his team's 5-2 win over the Blue Jays.

Smith hasn't allowed a run in 7 1/3 innings over his last eight outings, and he has yet to even give up a hit in five July appearances. He's taken control of his opportunity to close while posting a 2.56 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 41:9 K:BB ratio in 38 2/3 innings.


Joe Smith picks up relief win Friday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/5/2014) Angels closer Joe Smith picked up a relief win Friday night against the Astros . The right-hander struck out one and needed only five pitches to complete a perfect frame. Mike Trout broke a 6-6 tie with a walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to give his team the win.

Smith owns a 2.63 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP over 37 2/3 innings of relief.

Joe Smith works easy ninth for 10th save


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/4/2014) Angels closer Joe Smith picked up his 10th save of the season Thursday, in a 5-2 win over the Astros.

Smith closed out the game with little drama, as he erased a two-out walk by inducing a game-ending ground-ball out. He finished the inning on 17 pitches en route to his 10th save in 14 chances.

Smith has filled a couple of roles for the Angels in the bullpen, and has a 2.70 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 36 2/3 innings. 


Joe Smith picks up two saves in Tuesday doubleheader


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/2/2014) Angels closer Joe Smith followed up a save in Game 1 of Tuesday's doubleheader by earning another save in the nightcap, striking out one in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to finish off his team's 7-5 win over the White Sox.

Smith has racked up nine saves, and he hasn't allowed a base runner in any of his last three apeparances as he begins to settle into the closer role. He owns a 2.78 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and 40:8 K:BB ratio in 35 2/3 innings.


Angels swap out one shaky closer for another


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/27/2014) The more manager Mike Scioscia insisted he didn't want Joe Smith confined to closing, the more apparent it became the Angels had to make a trade. So they finally did Friday, swapping out perpetual headache Ernesto Frieri for Jason Grilli.

The problem is Grilli hasn't been so reliable himself. He may have been an All-Star in the role last year and was nothing short of lights-out before hurting his forearm midseason. But since then, in 31 appearances between this year and last, he has a 4.82 ERA and 1.68 WHIP.

In fact, the Pirates recently removed him from the closer role, replacing him with Mark Melancon.

Now, maybe the Angels thought that move was premature. Maybe they believe they can resuscitate Grilli somehow. He still has good stuff, so I wouldn't put it past them. But while Frieri is obviously a non-factor in mixed leagues now, I wouldn't be so quick to drop Smith in leagues where saves are scarce.


Joe Smith allows RBI double before save


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(6/26/2014) Angels closer Joe Smith looked to be on his way to a day off Thursday as the team held a five-run lead in the ninth inning, but he had to be called on to bail the team out of a jam instead.

Smith entered the game with the bases loaded and two out, and couldn't quite shut the door. Smith allowed a bases-clearing double to Joe Mauer, but he got out of the jam one batter later, as he struck Kendrys Morales to end the game.

All three runs were charged to Ernesto Frieri, who Smith replaced in the ninth. He got credit for his ninth save in 11 tries, while lowering his ERA slightly to 3.03. 


Joe Smith named the Angels closer...for now


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6/25/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith will serve as the team's regular closer for a bit, according to the Orange County Register

Smith will close while the team allows Ernesto Frieri to get his "game back," according to manager Mike Scioscia. It sounds like the move will be temporary, and Smith will eventually cede the job to Frieri once he proves himself in a lesser role. Smith has a 3.06 ERA over 32 1/3 innings.


Joe Smith fans one in save


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(6/25/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith worked his first save opportunity in more than a month Tuesday, as he closed out an 8-6 win over the Twins.

Smith allowed one two-out single, but the lead never seemed to be in much jeopardy. He shut the door with 13 pitches, striking out one game and ending it on a harmless ground ball out.

Smith is 6 for 4 in save situations this season, but has been one of the team's best relievers overall. He has a 3.06 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 32 1/3 innings, with 36 strikeouts and eight walks allowed. 


Joe Smith could be available to pitch Sunday


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(6/22/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith said he tweaked his neck when he turned to speak to catcher Chris Iannetta during his last outing Friday, per the Los Angeles Times. Smith said he was feeling much better Sunday and hopes he is available to pitch against the Rangers.

Joe Smith unavailable Saturday night


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6/22/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith was not available Saturday night, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Smith was dealing with a sore neck, and was not going to make an appearance during the game. As a result, Kevin Jepsen entered the game in the ninth inning to try and nail down a save. He gave up a game-tying home run, which sent the contest into extras.

It's unclear whether Smith's injury will keep him out multiple days. Through 30 1/3 innings, he's posted a 2.97 ERA.


Joe Smith picks up fifth save in 3-0 win


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5/14/2014) It was Joe Smith's turn to close out Wednesday's game at Philadelphia, and he did just that in a 3-0 win for the Angels. 

Smith, who continues to share save opportunities with Ernesto Frieri, got Ryan Howard to fly out to deep center for the first out in the bottom of the ninth. He then got Marlon Byrd to foul out to right field before closing the door on his fifth save with a strikeout of Domonic Brown.

Smith improved to 5 for 7 in save opportunities. He has 16 strikeouts in 17 innings.


Joe Smith struggles, but finally shuts down Blue Jays


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/10/2014) A day after Ernesto Frieri nailed down a save, fellow Angels reliever Joe Smith did the same Saturday in Toronto. The two are sharing the closer job for now

Smith did not make it easy on himself. He gave up run-scoring singles to Jose Bautista and Dioner Navarro before enducing Adam Lind to hit into a game-ending double play for his fourth save.


Joe Smith, Ernesto Frieri to split closing duties


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5/9/2014) With Joe Smith sidelined by tightness in his side, Angels reliever Ernesto Frieri is acting as the team's closer yet again.

However, MLB.com reports Friday the two will likely split the job moving forward, once Smith is feeling better. Frieri lost the job in recent weeks thanks to his struggles, and pitching coach Mike Butcher said the team will likely let matchups dictate their usage pattern for now.

"There will be times throughout the year where there will probably be a better matchup with Joe Smith out there," Butcher said.


Joe Smith dealing with tightness in right side


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(5/6/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith may not be available Tuesday against the Yankees, due to tightness in his side, according to the Los Angeles Times. The extent of the injury is not yet known, beyond that.  

Joe Smith's illness leads to Ernesto Frieri save Monday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/6/2014) Angels pitcher Joe Smith was set to pitch the ninth inning of Monday's 4-1 win over the Yankees but was dealing with an illness in the bullpen, MLB.com reports.

Smith's illness allowed the team to turn to deposed closer Ernesto Frieri, who struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth inning to put himself back in the mix for save opportunities. Manager Mike Scioscia may clarify the bullpen pecking order in the coming days, but he did say Sunday that having Frieri in the ninth inning was the optimal situation for the team.


Angels ready to put Ernesto Frieri back in closer's role?


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(5/4/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith has been solid since moving into the closer's role, going 3 for 3 in save opportunities. However, manager Mike Scioscia said Sunday reliever Ernesto Frieri is getting closer to returning to the closer's role.

"Our optimum bullpen is really with Ernie back in the ninth inning and being able to move Joe Smith around," Scioscia said, per MLB.com. "But we need some bullpen depth to evolve before we can push Joe that far.

"Right now, last night Ernie matched up well with the hitters coming up in the eighth inning and we let Joe handle the ninth. We'll stay that way today and see how it goes. At some point, maybe matchups are better for Joe a little bit earlier and we can have Ernie for the ninth. It's encouraging where Ernie's been his last three outings."


Joe Smith earns third save vs. Rangers


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/4/2014) Angels closer Joe Smith secured his third save Saturday, inducing a game-ending groundball double play to lock up a 5-3 Angels victory over the Rangers.

Smith has done a fine job since taking over as closer, delivering three scoreless outings while surrendering just two hits and no walks. He owns a 2.77 ERA and 13:3 K:BB ratio.


Joe Smith a Jim Johnson-like closer


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(5/2/2014) Here's why Joe Smith could stick as the Angels closer: He has a 2.45 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 226 appearances since the start of 2011. Nothing wrong with that.

Here's why Smith may not stick as the Angels closer: He's not the type of reliever who normally becomes a closer. By that, I mean he's not a bat-misser. Yeah, in what little we've seen of him this season, he has more strikeouts than innings pitched, but over those same 226 appearances, he's averaging 7.1 strikeouts per nine innings, which is well below average for a late-inning reliever.

It reminds me of when the Orioles turned closing duties over to Jim Johnson, himself a fine reliever with a 2.83 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 226 appearances (hey, same number) since the start of 2011. It worked out just fine for Fantasy owners -- he put together back-to-back 50-save seasons -- but it was an unorthodox decision that was continually called into question. And earlier this season, we saw why. A ball put in play is infinitely more likely to fall for a hit than a ball not put in play, and when a few more of those balls put in play fall for hits, saves are blown and jobs are lost.

So really, it's a question of whether or not Mike Scioscia, like Buck Showalter, is willing to "buck" conventional wisdom and stick with Smith even with bona fide bat-misser Ernesto Frieri behind him. I for one am skeptical, but Smith improves his chances with every clean inning.


Joe Smith racks up second save


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(4/30/2014) Angels reliever Joe Smith picked up his second save in as many nights Tuesday, as he closed out a 6-4 win over the Indians.

Smith handled the Indians easily, as he retired the side in order in the ninth. He struck out two and set down the final via flyball, tossing just 12 pitches in doing so.

Smith is 2 for 2 since entering the closer's role last weekend, and has a 3.00 ERA in 12 innings this season.