Mariners Opinions: How Long Does Carson Smith Have?


Carson Smith has been the man, converting three save chances (Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports).

Last night, Carson Smith came in for the one-out save against he Giants. Smith’s strikeout of Matt Duffy preserved the win in the Felix Hernandez gem over Madison Bumgarner.

Smith has been excellent this season, pitching to a 1.65 ERA and three saves. He’s also struck out 33 batters in 27.1 innings. Smith has been a definite upgrade over the exhilarating experience that is Fernando Rodney.

But, will Smith remain in his closer’s position? Or will Rodney be back? And if so, how long will Smith have?

This came across my reading today on the Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Pages:

Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said Carson Smith will remain the team’s closer for now.

Advice: “We’ll see how things go,” McClendon said. “Obviously Carson has done a nice job. I’ve said all along, the biggest question with Carson is the ability to go back-to-back and sometimes back-to-back-to-back or three out of five. I would say this: On days when Smith cannot go, you might see (Fernando) Rodney or a combination of Rodney and somebody else.” Rodney has been showing signs of improvement of late, and McClendon may eventually return to his embattled closer due to experience and loyalty. Smith should remain in lineups for the time being, though.

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My Thoughts:

1. With a young pitcher, I do understand Lloyd’s desire to keep Smith healthy and out of too many high-volume situations.

2. If the Mariners remain out of contention, I’d keep Smith in and groom him for the future.

3. Rodney has looked better, I suppose. He still fell behind two hitters 2-0 on Wednesday, even in a low-pressure 7th inning.

4. Rodney probably gets the job back in two weeks is my guess. He’s shown he’s capable before, and I think he could do it again and that the time off could be good for him.

5. I like that Lloyd is loyal, I really do. As a guy who played baseball his whole life, your players need to know that you have confidence in them. It sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

Go M’s.

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