On Tuesday, a frustrated Carson Smith threw his glove in the dugout after an inning in which he gave up a solo home run to Khris Davis, which turned out to be the game-winning run. Smith injured his shoulder in the process, suffering a right shoulder subluxation.
As Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports, Smith took responsibility for his injury and said he regretted throwing his glove in anger. Smith also said his shoulder was already not 100 percent as a result of overuse. He said, “I think my shoulder’s tired in general, just from pitching. I’ve thrown a lot lately and I think my arm was just tired.”
Smith, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2016, made 18 appearances entering Wednesday’s action. He appeared in 11 of his team’s 29 games in March and April, and appeared in seven of 14 games this month. He pitched on back-to-back days twice this month, May 8-9 and 11-12. He has thrown more than 15 pitches in two of those seven appearances: 19 pitches on May 1 and 20 pitches on May 11.
The data seems to disagree with Smith. Manger Alex Cora disagrees as well. He said, “I don’t agree with it. On a daily basis we talk to pitchers and how they feel. If they don’t think they can pitch that day, we stay away from them.” He added, “It caught me by surprise. If he felt that way he should’ve told it to us or he should’ve mentioned it.”
Providing more detail, Cora said, “All the relievers, we talk to them on a daily basis, ‘Where you guys at?’ And we have information too, but their input is very important to our decision making and there’s been some days that he felt he wasn’t available and there’s others that he was available.”
As Mastrodonato points out, Smith said he was unavailable to pitch one day during the club’s recent road series against the Yankees, May 8-10. He was not used on the 10th. As mentioned, he had pitched on back-to-back days.
It’s difficult to take Smith’s side here, though he may be operating with a much different definition of throwing “a lot lately” than the rest of us.