Will Smith exited Monday’s game early with re-emergence of pain in his left elbow, and the left-hander will get an MRI Monday night. Smith was making just his second appearance with the team this spring when he was pulled, feeling pain similar to what he felt in late February.
The best-case scenario is that rest and rehabilitation is all he needs, similar to what he went through at the beginning of spring training. The medium-case scenario is that he’s shut down for a fair amount of time and unable to be ready for Opening Day. The worst-case scenario is panic and misery for all involved.
This changes the situation with the top left-handed relievers remaining at camp, though. Rather than competing for just one spot, Josh Osich and Steven Okert will likely see that competition continue into the season.
Osich, who was with the team for the majority of last season, is not off to the best start, having given up five earned runs in just over six innings this spring. Last season, he had an ERA of 4.71 in 36.1 innings, but if you narrow it down to left-handed batters, he had an ERA of 1.23 and a 0.77 WHIP, racking up 18 strikeouts and allowing only three earned runs in 22 innings.
Against right handed batters....look, you don’t really need to see those numbers. Let’s just assume he will primarily be facing lefties and move on for now.
Okert has had a strong spring so far, with six scoreless innings and a 0.50 WHIP. He spent some time with the team last year as well, most memorably in September where he pitched eight innings and allowed only one run.
Though Ty Blach is more likely to challenge Matt Cain for the fifth spot in the rotation, he could see some time in the bullpen if necessary. Kraig Sitton, Matt Reynolds, and Michael Roth are the other left-handers hanging around Arizona, though none of them are on the 25-man roster and would require the Giants to make a roster move.