The Red Sox announced that they have activated right-handed reliever Carson Smith from the 60-day disabled list and designated fellow righty Kyle Martin for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Now 27 years old, Smith was acquired by the Red Sox in the 2015-16 offseason with the hope that he could serve as a setup man for Craig Kimbrel. The hard-throwing Smith was brilliant during his 2015 rookie campaign with the Mariners, pitching to a 2.31 ERA with 11.8 K/9, 2.8 BB/9 and a 64.3 percent ground-ball rate in 70 innings. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, Smith suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament after just three appearances in a Red Sox uniform and hasn’t appeared in a Major League game since.
September will give the Sox time to evaluate Smith for a potential postseason bullpen spot and will also certainly provide an audition of sorts for the 2018 campaign, when they’ll again hope that he can join Joe Kelly, Matt Barnes and others in forming a bridge to Kimbrel.
As for Martin, the 26-year-old made his Major League debut this season but tossed just 2 1/3 innings in the bigs. Martin has posted some gaudy strikeout rates in the past as a minor leaguer, averaging better than a strikeout per inning from 2014-16 and more than 10 K/9 in 2015-16. He reached Triple-A for the first time in 2017 and logged a 4.36 ERA with 8.4 K/9, 4.4 BB/9 and a 33.1 percent ground-ball rate in 53 2/3 innings.