Friday, June 9, 2023

Braves post season star Smith to RHP Odorizzi . sent to the Astros

ATLANTA ( Associated Press) — World Series champion Atlanta Braves let their early staffers drop a reliever that played a big part in their 2021 title run ahead of the trade deadline on Tuesday.

Ready for another race after the season, the Braves introduced former close Will Smith to the Houston Astros for right-hander Jake Odorizzi, making Atlanta the sixth starting pitcher for the final two months of the regular season.

The move was the largest of three deadline deals pulled by general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who left the minor leaguers for corner outfielder Robbie Grossman on Monday From Detroit and infielder Ehire Adrienza from Washington.

Atlanta, with a third-best record in NL and trailing the pre-leading New York Mets by 3 1/2 games in Tuesday’s game, was looking for extra depth to the rotation.

Ian Anderson has struggled and former All-Star Mike Soroka is unlikely to make a big contribution this season after two major Achilles injuries. In addition, there are concerns that 13-game winner Kyle Wright, in his first full big league season, and rookie sensation Spencer Strider could tire the stretch.

Smith played a big role In the Braves’ first World Series championship since 1995. He had 37 saves during the 2021 regular season and was even more impressive in the post season, bowling 11 scoreless innings with six overs in 11 matches.

But Smith voluntarily gave up the ninth inning slot when the Braves signed the Dodgers closer to Kenley Jensen at long During the off-season, and Lefty faltered in a less prominent role.

In 41 appearances, Smith was 0-1 with 4.38 ERAs and five saves, conceded 35 hits – including seven homers – and 21 walks in 37 innings for a WHIP of 1.514.

In his last four matches with the Braves, Smith conceded six runs in three innings.

He was particularly expendable with three other lefties – AJ Minter, Tyler Matzek and Dylan Lee – proving more effective than the bullpen. Furthermore, former Padres close to Kirby Yates appear close to returning to the big leagues with the Braves after recovering from Tommy John surgery.

The AL West-leading Astros acquired the pitcher who was on the mound for the deciding game of the Braves’ World Series win over Houston last season.

The Astros have plenty to start pitching and they can drop Odorizzi, especially to get a much-needed lefty to their bullpen. Smith is earning $13 million in the final year of his contract. He has a $13 million club option with a $1 million buyout for 2023.

The 32-year-old Odorizzi was an All-Star with Minnesota in 2019, when he scored a career-best 15 wins. He went 4-3 for the Astros this season with a 3.75 ERA in 12 starts.

Odorizzi has lost 42 games with a lower left leg injury and is 1-1 with a 4.45 ERA in the Five Stars since returning to the Houston rotation. In his latest outing, he surrendered two hits in seven scoreless innings against Seattle.

The Brave could use six starters on an upcoming three-city road trip that includes a pair of doubleheaders. After that, they could go with Odorizzi as a spot starter to give everyone extra rest after the season, or make changes if one stumbles.

The 24-year-old Anderson, leading 9-6 with a 4.99 ERA, has been a major disappointment, although he boosted his chances of staying in the rotation by giving away only one hit in six scoreless innings against the Nationals in his last start. ,

Wright has blossomed this season, leading the NL to victory with a 2.93 ERA. But he has thrown 122 2/3 innings, closing in on his professional high of 143 1/3 sets last season, while mostly pitching at Triple-A Gwynette.

The hard-throwing strider has made a hugely successful transition to the Braves rotation, going 5-3 with an ERA of 2.93 in 22 appearances including 11 starts.

But Strider has recorded 80 1/3 innings, not far from 96 1/3 the year before, while his first professional season from Low-A saw a meteoric rise in the big leagues.

Trade for Odorizzi, who has a player option of $6.5 million for 2023 and a minimum buyout of $3.25 million that could increase to 2021-22 depending on the pitcher of the innings, completes the Braves’ wish list before the deadline. Will do

Grossman, a switch hitter who has been more effective against left-handers, gives the Braves an outfielder who can platoon with lefty-hitting Eddie Rosario and serve as a replacement for Adam Duvall, who Recently had wrist surgery at the end of the season.

Adrienza returns to the team he played for in 2021, providing additional interfield depth until Ozzy Albiz comes back from a broken leg, possibly in early September.

The Astros They were also busy on the deadline, getting catcher Christian Vazquez from Boston and slugger Trey Mancini from the Orioles.


Follow Paul Newberry on Twitter


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