The Angels announced Friday that they’ve claimed catcher Kevan Smith off waivers from the White Sox and cleared a spot on the 40-man roster by designating fellow backstop Joe Hudson for assignment.
Smith, 30, has spent parts of the past three seasons with the White Sox, totaling 146 games and 497 plate appearances with a .281/.318/.376 batting line, seven homers and 23 doubles in that time. He’s struggled enormously when it comes to controlling the running game, though, posting an anemic 14 percent caught-stealing rate. From a pitch-framing standpoint, Baseball Prospectus has given Smith rougly average marks between the Majors and minors over the past few seasons while rating his blocking skills to be below average.
Smith is out of minor league options, meaning he can’t be sent to the minors next year unless he first clears waivers — assuming he even sticks on the 40-man roster all winter, which is far from a given.
As for Hudson, the 27-year-old hit well with the Double-A and Triple-A affiliates for the Angels this season, albeit in minuscule sample sizes. Hudson notched a .970 OPS in seven games with the Double-A club before moving up to Triple-A and hitting .311/.380/.478 in 101 PAs. He’s also drawn solid framing marks over the past couple of seasons in the minors and has a career 43 percent caught-stealing rate.
Hudson went 2-for-12 in a late-season cameo with the Angels — a brief stint that marked his MLB debut. Generally speaking, however, he’s struggled with the bat in the upper levels of the minor leagues, hitting just .196/.297/.289 in parts of three Double-A seasons.
This move makes me very happy as a halo fan.
Nice move. Eppler looking at raising the floor. Smith’s career OBP is higher than any of the catchers on the current roster. He’s not expensive, didn’t require trade capital.
I still want Ramos if the price is somewhat reasonable. This team was miserable against lefties last year. Ramos would help that.
Epp gonna claim
Smith is a very good hitter for a catcher – pair him with a defensive specialist and that’s a nice platoon.
He has no power with that .095 ISO (lg average is .165 last 3 seasons) and is immune to walks (3.8 BB%, 8th lowest in majors last 3) plus has atrocious running abilities (-4.2 Runs in just 497 PA) – while all that is likely to get even worse at 30-31yo and with his ankle surgery
He puts everything in play and therefore BABIP keeps his singles rate at an okay pace, but otherwise he brings literally nothing to the offensive table at all
The average catcher in MLB hit 230/310/380 last year. Catchers just don’t hit. They never have.
Yes. And his slash line is literally average. Combine that with pedestrian framing and blocking and awful runner control, he’s not a very good catcher.
Fair enough I’m currently watching a WS game in which 3 of the 4 rostered catchers are absolutely terrible.
I think ramos will be the pick when the time comes. In addition to a few rotation arms like eovaldi and happ caliber and maybe a miller or kimbrel.
Triple A fodder at best. Horrible at throwing out runners. The Angels already have a dh.
Very nice, low key pickup. This might be one of those “meaningless” pick up’s now but could pay big dividends next year.
LAA in 19’ could very well be the Milwaukee Brewers of 18’.
A lot of times in life you don’t get second chances. Well guess what? Brad Ausmus is getting one. Let’s see what he learned from DET because he will have to answer these questions for a second time.
How do you manage the best player in the game during his prime for the second time in your managerial career?
How do you manage a bullpen? Who is your closer?
How do you convince Upton to buy into the rah-rah new coach speak when he has already heard the message before elsewhere?
With all that being said, Ohtani is Hader plus offense when healthy.
A combination of Skaggs, Heaney, Shoemaker, Barria, Tropeano, Bridwell and Meyer is fine to enter the season with and can match what Milwaukee’s rotation did this year. Adding an Eovaldi or Happ would be nice to supplement the loss of Richards.
Lastly, the offense has weapons up and down. They just need to find a way to get out from under Pujols.
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The angels rotation isn’t very good, and isn’t going to be, ohtani isn’t hader because he isnt left handed, oh and won’t pitch next year. And still isn’t enough offence to keep up
In the division, light years behind the stros and probably worse than Oakland/Seattle. Releasing puljols would be a start, getting two of the top starters and a couple relievers the likes of familia, Britton, etc and then one of the many cost effective 1B out there, goldsmidt or smoak, or some of the many FA 1B out there might put them
In a position to challenge for a division/wildcard.
It doesn’t matter if he is left handed or right. He is electric when healthy. He looks like Eovaldi does currently, when he is on. But Eovaldi isn’t Hader either right because he is right handed?
You don’t need a good rotation anymore. I this day and age of baseball, you need about 10-12 guys who are going to give you 5 innings a night. They have depth, they just need a horse and a reliable veteran to keep it all gelled together.
The Brewers rotation looks disgusting on paper. But that’s on paper. If you told me this time last year that Jhoulys Chacin and Wade Miley would be starting important playoff games, I probably would have spit my cereal all over the kitchen table and fell down laughing hilariously, then seriously asking if you were sane or not?
They have depth, it might not all be healthy yet but they have arms. I’m not an Angel fan by any means. Just calling it as I see it.
“….you need about 10-12 guys who are going to give you 5 innings a night.”
Forgive me for not following your math, but I think games require 9 innings of pitching (8 if you lose on the road)
Correct, “a starter” should only be counted on for 5 innings in this day and age of baseball. The bullpen completes the final 3-4 innings. Especially true in the postseason as we all have seen.
My point being, if you have 10-12 average/above average -healthy starting pitching options, then you have a chance. The Angels have that.
They also have an owner who isn’t afraid to spend, idk. Sleep on the Angels if you want- I’m not a fan of them, just pointing out that I like what they have an what they could do going forward.
“Ohtani is Hader” Huh?
When healthy yes, you an put him in for 2-3 inning an outing and he will be lights out. Did you not watch that debut against Oakland? He looked unreal. Imagine deploying that in a game when healthy at anytime, like the Brewers used Hader in the playoffs.
He won’t even be pitching this season, where have you been dude? and he wasn’t the top prospect in baseball to be just a reliever
Right? But like Eovaldi- when Otani comes back from TJS why would you want him to throw 200+ innings a year? I’d rather take care of his arm and extend him as long as possible by having him pitch no more than 100+ innings a season, that way you get Hader like production- quality/impact innings all season when needed in high leverage spots. Plus, the bat.
I would make him a starter. I’d want to have a guy who gives me 10 years of 100+ innings, the offensive OPS he will put up while doing that- instead of asking him to be Justin Verlander/Max Scherzer- throwing their arms off for a club who has seen it happen too many times before.
I’m just saying don’t get greedy. This is a once in a lifetime player. Would hate to see him continuing to get hurt because people are asking the world of him. The expectation for him shouldn’t be winning 20 games, throwing 200+ innings, striking out 300, and batting .300 with 30 and 100 with a 1.000 OPS+. That’s not fair to him.
Let him hit everyday. But also let him be a human and get scheduled days off. Use him in high leverage situations to bridge from the starter to the closer like we have seen with Eovaldi. But do that during the regular season. Every game counts.
2nd paragraph- I wouldn’t make him a starter*
I don’t follow your logic. Eovaldi last night pitched the equivalent of a complete-game 9-inning loss, with 1ER, 5 K, 1 BB, 97 pitches, throwing well-located 98 mph pitches up to the end.
This is the season following his (2nd) TJ surgery. Wherever he plays in 2019 he will be a solid 1-3 pitcher. No reason to believe Ohtani will be any different in 2020.
This is really picky, but once Hudson was acquired from the Reds, he went straight to AAA. He was briefly sent to AA late in the season to fill in for injury, then sent back to AAA before his call up to the bigs. Article says he was in AA then promoted to AAA, while in reality his time in Mobile was sandwich by time in Salt Lake
i doubt this is the only move the angels make at catcher this offseason
One would certainly hope not
This guy is trash behind the plate, has no power at all, can’t get on base unless being being hit by a pitch, and is currently in need of Ankle surgery.
Add to that the fact he’s over 30, so all these things were present issues while he was physically at his best
White Sox fan here. I wish Smith the best and hope Smith proves you wrong.
Wish the guy the best as well. But if he’s in the majors for any real amount of time, it means the Angels have a serious problem
A lot of comments for a move/player that will be DFAd shortly, if not by December when 40 man rosters need to be set pre Rule 5 draft! Just how rosters are constructed these days…last man on usually means first man off!
the mike carter
I’m unhappy. I know Narvaez hits better but he cannot catch. I really liked Smith especially as a backup.
Smith can’t catch either, so…