If you're on the Twitter wire, or check any Angels related website, you know that right handed relief pitcher Joe Smith will be pitching for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for the next few season.
It's finally "official." Joe Smith has signed with the Angels for three years and $15.75 million, which will be dispersed evenly. $5.25 million per season, along with a potential yearly bonus of $250 thousand. The bonus will only be available if Smith becomes a closer, and has a specific amount of games finished.
Oakland Athletics Manager, Bob Melvin, addressed what makes certain pitchers so good with one simple word, "deception."
Deception is the best way to describe Smith in my eyes. The best way to be deceptive is to not show the ball and keep an even arm slot for all of your pitches. It just so happens that Smith, is a master of deception.
"He has a stuttered, side-armed, odd throwing mechanics, just all around weird delivery," as described by a scout when I asked him about Smith. Some may take it as a bad thing, but in the baseball world, unorthodoxity is a good thing.
Smith's statistics speak for themselves, as his 2.29 earned-run-average was among the best of American League relievers. Smith also had a six and two record over 70 games pitched.
Smith did have struggles though closing out games, as he only succeeded in saving three of the eight games he had the opportunity. It is safe to assume that Ernesto Frieri will keep his closing role duties.
I'd say it's a safe guess that all Angels fans can agree that the signing of Smith is a large upgrade for the Angels bullpen.
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