2012 in Review: Joe Smith

He has one of the most common names in the country, but Joe Smith's work in the bullpen has been anything but common.

2012 Age: 28

2012 WAR (Fangraphs): 0.7

2012 WAR (B-Ref): 0.9

2012 Salary: $1.75M

2013 Contract Status: Arbitration (5.091 Service Time)

First, a note on the WAR numbers. Because relievers aren't on the field as much as a position player or a starting pitcher, a WAR of over 1 is considered excellent for a reliever, and anything over 0.5 in either system denotes a good reliever. In 2011, Smith had a 1.2 Fangraphs WAR, and a 2.2 B-Ref WAR, both among the best in the majors.

This season, he wasn't as good as in 2011, but he was still a very effective pitcher. Even though he looks like he wouldn't be that effective against left-handed hitters, he had virtually no platoon split this season, allowing Manny Acta to bring him out regardless of who was due up.

Smith has a decent strikeout rate, but what makes him such an effective pitcher is that he combines the strikeouts with a very good groundball. Almost 60% of the balls put in play against him are grounders, and only 17.5% of his pitches are put in play. Of the 1069 pitches Smith threw in 2012, only 73 were put in play as either fly balls or line drives. And that means very few extra-base hits were hit off of Smith; he allowed just 12 doubles and 4 homers this year, which is key for the success of a late-inning reliever.

(Via Brooks Baseball)

Pitch Counts Ball Call Str. Swings Fouls Whiffs BIP GB LD FB PU HR
Fourseam (FA) 309 34.95% 17.48% 46.60% 16.83% 9.39% 20.39% 7.77% 3.88% 8.09% 0.65% 0.97%
Sinker (SI) 441 32.88% 16.10% 50.11% 20.18% 8.62% 21.77% 16.78% 2.04% 2.72% 0.00%
Slider (SL) 319 41.07% 25.71% 32.29% 11.60% 11.60% 9.09% 4.08% 1.25% 3.45% 0.31% 0.31%

So in other words, Smith a pitcher that can either be brought in as a fireman, like he was here...

Or simply be brought in to pitch a full inning, no matter who's due up. He'd make an excellent closer, even though he doesn't throw that hard.

Depending on what the Indians do this offseason, Smith could be elevated into an eighth inning role, or simply stay a seventh inning guy. He'll be getting another bump in salary through arbitration, though not nearly what he would have gotten had he been closing games. He's one year from free agency, and with a good 2013 season will almost certainly get a lucrative multi-year contract on the open market.

2012 Game Log

Rk Gcar Gtm Date Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str
1 298 1 Apr 5 CLE TOR L,4-7 11-12 99 1.2 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.00 6 28 19
2 299 2 Apr 7 CLE TOR L,4-7 8-8 1 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0.00 3 10 7
3 300 3 Apr 8 CLE TOR W,4-3 8-8 H(1) 0 0.1 3 1 1 0 1 0 0 3.00 4 18 12
4 301 6 Apr 13 CLE @ KCR W,8-3 8-8 4 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 2.25 4 18 11
5 302 7 Apr 14 CLE @ KCR W,11-9 6-7 H(2) 0 1.0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 3.60 4 11 8
6 303 9 Apr 17 CLE @ SEA W,9-8 7-7 H(3) 2 1.0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 3.00 4 17 9
7 304 12 Apr 20 CLE @ OAK W,4-3 7-7 H(4) 2 0.2 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 2.70 4 20 12
8 305 17 Apr 26 CLE KCR L,2-4 8-GF 5 1.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.16 5 17 13
9 306 19 Apr 28 CLE LAA L,1-2 7-8 1 2.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 1.74 6 23 16
May Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str
10 307 22 May 2 CLE @ CHW W,6-3 7-7 W(1-0) 3 1.0 0 0 0 1 3 0 0 1.59 4 20 10
11 308 23 May 3 CLE @ CHW W,7-5 7-8 H(5) 0 1.1 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 1.42 6 26 13
12 309 25 May 5 CLE TEX L,2-5 10-GF(11) L(1-1) 1 2.0 1 3 3 3 0 1 0 3.07 9 32 16
13 310 28 May 7(2) CLE CHW W,3-2 8-8 BW(2-1) 1 0.2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.93 2 13 7
14 311 31 May 10 CLE @ BOS W,8-3 7-7 2 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2.87 1 5 3
15 312 35 May 14 CLE @ MIN W,5-4 8-8 W(3-1) 3 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.81 1 1 1
16 313 38 May 17 CLE SEA W,6-5 11-GF(11) W(4-1) 2 1.0 2 1 1 0 1 0 0 3.18 5 23 15
17 314 39 May 18 CLE MIA L,2-3 8-8 0 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.06 3 12 10
18 315 40 May 19 CLE MIA W,2-0 7-7 H(6) 0 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.95 1 5 3
19 316 42 May 22 CLE DET W,5-3 7-7 H(7) 2 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.89 1 1 1
20 317 43 May 23 CLE DET W,4-2 7-7 0 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.84 1 5 2
21 318 46 May 26 CLE @ CHW L,7-14 7-7 2 1.0 4 4 3 1 1 0 0 4.05 8 28 19
22 319 47 May 27 CLE @ CHW L,6-12 8-GF(8) 0 0.1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.98 2 3 2
23 320 48 May 28 CLE KCR W,8-5 6-6 H(8) 0 0.2 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.86 3 9 7
24 321 50 May 30 CLE KCR L,3-6 9-GF 1 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.68 4 14 11
June Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str
25 322 52 Jun 2 CLE MIN L,4-7 8-8 2 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.52 3 9 6
26 323 55 Jun 6 CLE @ DET W,9-6 7-7 H(9) 3 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.38 3 14 9
27 324 57 Jun 8 CLE @ STL W,6-2 8-8 1 1.0 2 0 0 0 3 0 0 3.24 5 21 14
28 325 60 Jun 12 CLE @ CIN L,1-7 6-7 3 1.0 1 1 1 0 1 0 0 3.46 4 11 9
29 326 64 Jun 16 CLE PIT L,2-9 7-8 3 1.2 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 3.25 7 25 16
30 327 66 Jun 18 CLE CIN W,10-9 6-7 W(5-1) 1 1.2 1 1 1 2 1 1 0 3.38 7 33 17
31 328 67 Jun 19 CLE CIN W,3-2 10-10 0 0.2 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 3.60 3 9 6
32 329 69 Jun 22 CLE @ HOU W,2-0 7-7 H(10) 2 0.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.56 1 5 3
33 330 71 Jun 24 CLE @ HOU L,1-7 7-7 1 0.1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.52 2 9 6
34 331 74 Jun 27 CLE @ NYY L,4-5 7-7 2 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 3.41 3 16 10
35 332 75 Jun 28 CLE @ BAL W,7-2 6-7 H(11) 0 1.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.27 4 11 8
36 333 76 Jun 29 CLE @ BAL L,8-9 7-7 L(5-2) 0 1.0 2 1 1 1 1 0 0 3.44 6 28 14
July Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str
37 334 79 Jul 2 CLE LAA L,0-3 8-GF 2 1.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.31 4 13 8
38 335 80 Jul 3 CLE LAA W,9-5 7-7 H(12) 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.22 3 9 8
39 336 85 Jul 8 CLE TBR L,6-7 6-7 H(13) 4 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.13 3 12 6
40 337 88 Jul 15 CLE @ TOR L,0-3 7-GF(8) 6 2.0 2 0 0 0 2 0 0 2.97 7 40 24
41 338 91 Jul 18 CLE @ TBR W,10-6 7-7 H(14) 2 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.90 3 6 4
42 339 93 Jul 20 CLE BAL L,2-10 7-7 1 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.83 3 16 11
43 340 97 Jul 24 CLE DET W,3-2 7-7 BW(6-2) 3 1.0 1 2 2 1 0 1 0 3.19 5 20 11
44 341 99 Jul 26 CLE DET W,5-3 7-7 W(7-2) 1 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.14 1 2 1
45 342 103 Jul 31 CLE @ KCR L,3-8 8-GF(8) 4 1.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.07 5 14 10
August Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str
46 343 105 Aug 2 CLE @ KCR L,6-7 7-7 1 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.00 4 20 13
47 344 108 Aug 5 CLE @ DET L,8-10 6-7 2 0.1 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 3.18 4 10 8
48 345 109 Aug 6 CLE MIN L,3-14 9-GF 0 1.0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 3.11 5 28 13
49 346 110 Aug 7 CLE MIN L,5-7 7-7 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3.11 2 4 2
50 347 115 Aug 12 CLE BOS L,1-14 9-GF 4 1.0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 3.04 4 17 9
51 348 116 Aug 13 CLE @ LAA W,6-2 7-7 H(15) 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 2.98 3 16 10
52 349 119 Aug 17 CLE @ OAK L,4-6 7-8 L(7-3) 3 0.1 1 2 2 1 1 0 0 3.33 3 18 10
53 350 122 Aug 20 CLE @ SEA L,3-5 6-7 L(7-4) 2 0.1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 3.49 2 6 2
54 351 124 Aug 22 CLE @ SEA L,1-3 7-7 1 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3.42 4 16 10
55 352 127 Aug 26 CLE NYY L,2-4 7-7 3 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 3.35 5 21 14
56 353 129 Aug 28 CLE OAK L,0-7 9-GF 1 1.0 2 2 0 0 2 0 0 3.29 6 19 12
57 354 131 Aug 30 CLE OAK L,7-12 7-8 1 1.1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.21 5 17 9
September/October Tm Opp Rslt Inngs Dec DR IP H R ER BB SO HR HBP ERA BF Pit Str
58 355 133 Sep 1 CLE TEX W,4-3 6-7 H(16) 1 1.1 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.13 5 17 11
59 356 136 Sep 4 CLE @ DET W,3-2 7-7 H(17) 2 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3.09 4 13 7
60 357 138 Sep 7 CLE @ MIN W,7-6 7-7 H(18) 2 0.2 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 3.05 4 21 13
61 358 140 Sep 9 CLE @ MIN L,7-8 7-8 1 1.1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 2.98 4 13 11
62 359 142 Sep 11 CLE @ TEX L,4-6 8-GF(8) 1 1.0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2.93 4 10 5
63 360 144 Sep 13 CLE @ TEX W,5-4 8-8 1 0.1 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 2.91 5 14 10
64 361 147 Sep 16 CLE DET W,7-6 7-7 BS(3) 2 1.0 4 3 3 0 1 1 0 3.32 7 17 11
65 362 148 Sep 18 CLE MIN L,5-6 10-10 1 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.26 3 14 10
66 363 151 Sep 21 CLE @ KCR L,3-6 7-7 2 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.21 3 18 13
67 364 153 Sep 23 CLE @ KCR W,15-4 8-8 1 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.19 1 3 2
68 365 154 Sep 24 CLE @ CHW L,4-5 7-7 H(19) 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 3.14 3 15 10
69 366 156 Sep 26 CLE @ CHW W,6-4 7-7 H(20) 1 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.09 3 11 7
70 367 157 Sep 28 CLE KCR W,8-5 8-8 H(21) 1 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3.05 3 18 11
71 368 160 Oct 1 CLE CHW L,0-11 6-7 2 1.0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 3.00 6 16 11
72 369 161 Oct 2 CLE CHW W,4-3 7-7 0 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.96 3 12 7
CLE 67.0 53 27 22 25 53 4 2 2.96 278
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/10/2012.

Career Stats

Year Age Tm Lg W L W-L% ERA G GF IP H R ER HR BB SO ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2007 23 NYM NL 3 2 .600 3.45 54 14 44.1 48 18 17 3 21 45 126 1.556 9.7 0.6 4.3 9.1 2.14
2008 24 NYM NL 6 3 .667 3.55 82 12 63.1 51 28 25 4 31 52 119 1.295 7.2 0.6 4.4 7.4 1.68
2009 25 CLE AL 0 0 3.44 37 5 34.0 30 16 13 4 13 30 125 1.265 7.9 1.1 3.4 7.9 2.31
2010 26 CLE AL 2 2 .500 3.83 53 7 40.0 30 18 17 4 24 32 104 1.350 6.8 0.9 5.4 7.2 1.33
2011 27 CLE AL 3 3 .500 2.01 71 13 67.0 52 16 15 1 21 45 196 1.090 7.0 0.1 2.8 6.0 2.14
2012 28 CLE AL 7 4 .636 2.96 72 12 67.0 53 27 22 4 25 53 132 1.164 7.1 0.5 3.4 7.1 2.12
6 Yrs 21 14 .600 3.11 369 63 315.2 264 123 109 20 135 257 132 1.264 7.5 0.6 3.8 7.3 1.90
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/10/2012.
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