Brewers reliever Will Smith has a torn lateral collateral ligament in his right knee, and it’s unclear whether he’ll opt for rehab or surgery, Tom Haudricourt of the Journal Sentinel writes. In a freak occurrence, Smith suffered the injury while taking off his shoe in the clubhouse.
“I was standing on one leg, trying to take the shoe off and I pulled hard and it stayed on. My knee just went up and popped,” Smith says.
Whether or not Smith’s injury requires surgery, it appears he’s in for a significant stay on the Brewers’ disabled list. Smith figured to be part of the Brewers’ mix at closer, along with Jeremy Jeffress. The injury likely means that Jeffress will have the role to himself, at least for awhile.
Smith has been one of the better lefty relievers in baseball the past three seasons, and he was terrific in 2015, with a 2.70 ERA, 3.4 BB/9 and an impressive 12.9 K/9 in 63 1/3 innings working in a setup role. He figured to become a trade candidate for Brewers at some point, since an electric lefty reliever seems like a luxury for a rebuilding team, although his current injury could delay that possibility. Smith is making $1.475MM in his first year of arbitration eligibility in 2016 as a Super Two player.