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Carson Smith will bring stability to Red Sox bullpen

Carson Smith is almost back, here’s what we’re getting.

Oakland Athletics v Boston Red Sox
He’s almost back.
Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

You may have heard of Carson Smith. He exists in Red Sox legend, for the time being, but there was a time where he was a very good baseball player, and there was also a time where Red Sox fans were excited to have a very good baseball player.

However, time has passed. Many have forgotten Smith was an actual thing, and passed him off as the Bigfoot of Red Sox pitchers. Surely, since Dave Dombrowski cannot build a good bullpen, Carson Smith had to be just an urban legend.

But rejoice all, because Carson Smith is alive and well and on the way back. He’s expected to throw against batters (who will not be swinging, as if they could hit the pitch anyways) during this weekend during the upcoming Red Sox-Yankees series.

Then finally, comes the words that everyone has been waiting to hear: “Carson Smith goes on his rehab assignment.”

Oakland Athletics v Boston Red Sox
This is a sight that cannot come soon enough.
Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

If everything goes well, and there are no complications (knock on wood, etc.), Smith will be able to rejoin the team as soon as a mid-June series against the Phillies or Astros. A more realistic expectation may be the June 23rd game against the Angels, but the point remains, Carson Smith is coming, and Carson Smith will be back.

So who is the man of the hour? Smith is a 27-year-old right handed pitcher, that was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a deal that sent Smith and Roenis Elias to Boston, and Jonathan Aro and Wade Miley to Seattle. Miley, of course, now pitches for the Orioles, and Aro is presently under suspension after testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Elias is injured, with an intercostal strain, but still with the organization.

Smith was a dominant force in the time he was with the Mariners, with 11.7 strikeouts per nine innings in his time in Seattle (over 78 13 innings). He did pitch in 2 23 innings for Boston last year before undergoing the dreaded Tommy John Surgery.

Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
Smith was a dominant pitcher with the Mariners over 78 1⁄3 innings. Can he do the same in Boston?
Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

With Boston’s ‘pen currently featuring the impenetrable Craig Kimbrel, and a collection of surprisingly decent arms featuring Joe Kelly and Robby Scott, Smith’s presence will give the rest of the ‘pen more chances to rest. Smith, as mentioned, is a high strikeout arm, that boasts a repertoire that includes his crazy sinker, a slider, and a changeup. A bridge of a healthy Smith to Kimbrel could be the best combination Boston has had in this century, which is saying something considering that the tandem of Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa once pitched for the Sox.

Possibly the biggest boost that Smith can provide, however, is proving a long supposed hypothesis about Dave Dombrowski wrong. Contrary to his history, he is fully capable of building a solid bullpen.

Now we begin the wait on Tyler Thornburg to join them.