Boston Red Sox relief pitcher Carson Smith is facing an extended stint on the disabled list in 2016.

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Forearm Injury Will Shelf Smith

Tuesday, March 22   

According to the Boston Herald‘s Michael Silverman, Smith has a strain in his flexor mass muscle but is expected to pitch sometime this season despite there not being a timetable for his return.

Smith was pulled from his outing on Monday against the St. Louis Cardinals when he experienced “tightness” and “cramping” in his forearm, per Silverman

The 26-year-old spoke with Silverman after the game on Monday about the injury: “I’m concerned; it’s my career. I think everybody here, if they felt something in their forearm, is going to be concerned. Who knows how serious it is. We toyed with some tests in there and…there were optimistic results.”

The Red Sox acquired Smith during the offseason, along with starter Roenis Elias from the Seattle Mariners, in return for starter Wade Miley and minor leaguer Jonathan Aro. 

In his first full season in the majors last year, Smith recorded 92 strikeouts in 70.0 innings pitched—which led all rookie relievers, per Silverman—along with 13 saves. 

With the arrival of Craig Kimbrel in Boston, Smith was most likely going to be the Red Sox’s setup man as the team attempted to restock its bullpen, which struggled mightily last season.

Boston relief pitchers allowed 4.65 runs per game in 2015, fifth-worst in the league, and had just 63 holds. Only six teams in the majors had fewer last year. 

Now with Smith out for what could be an extended period of time, the Red Sox might have to rely on former closer and 40-year-old Koji Uehara, who made his spring training debut on March 12 after recovering from a fractured wrist that ended his 2015 season early in August. 

Hopefully for the Red Sox, he will be enough to keep the setup role afloat while Smith recovers. 


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