Rockies SP Jeff Francis, who last pitched in 2008, was scratched from tonight’s game. Replacing him will be Greg Smith, who, as the title suggests, is not a pitcher that the Brewers lineup should be afraid of.
In his only major league season, 2008 with Oakland, Smith pitched quite poorly. A 4.16 ERA and 4.82 FIP disguise an unsustainably low 7.9% HR/FB rate. It’s more likely that Smith’s true talent is closer to his 5.30 xFIP, or not good.
He didn’t exactly impress in the minor leagues in 2009, either, as he struck out less than 6 batters per nine innings in about 50 innings after recovering from an injury. Between 2008 and 2009 and weak AAA numbers from 2007, both CHONE and ZiPS project Smith for an FIP above 5.00. Again, not good.
Finally, Smith is left handed. That bodes well for the Brewers, as a heavily right handed lineup likely to include Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, Casey McGehee, Carlos Gomez, Alcides Escobar, and of course Ryan Braun should enjoy an advantage, as Smith struggled against righties in 2008, allowing 17 HR in 144 IP, including 78 innings pitched at spacious McAfee coliseum.
The Brewers offense should be able to tee off tonight and give some run support to Randy Wolf in his first Miller Park start.