Mets reliever Drew Smith is positioning himself to get bigger innings
Drew Smith is caught in the middle of the Mets bullpen. He’s not one of the designated veteran setup men or the team’s closer. He isn’t one of the mop-up guys either whose duty is to get them through blowouts. Smith began 2022 in an inexact role that he looks to be climbing over.
Smith is one of only a small number of Mets relievers under contract for next season. One of the younger ones, too, turning him into a high-leverage reliever this season should be a priority. That means allowing him to grow into a bigger role within the relief corps and hand him bigger innings as long as he pitches well through them.
Throughout his big league career, Smith has pitched relatively well. The problem has been staying healthy. He missed all of 2019 and was only able to log 41.1 innings last year. However, they were solid innings. Smith was 3-1 with a 2.40 ERA. The 28-year-old Texan certainly seems to have the necessary stuff to become someone Buck Showalter can trust in the seventh or eighth inning. Dare I say, maybe he even ends falling into a ninth inning role if Edwin Diaz walks after this year?
Smith will be a valuable piece of this Mets team. By the end of the year, he could turn into the most trusted arm they have from the bullpen.