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Carson Smith was a lights out reliever for the Mariners in 2015 with a 2.31 ERA and 92 strikeouts spanning 70 innings.
The righty was traded to the Red Sox prior to the 2016 season, pitched in three games, then missed about 18 months recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Smith returned last September, though, and looked brilliant with a 1.35 ERA in eight appearances. This spring - a 1.80 mark in five frames.
He told NESN that repetitions are key to regaining his old form, especially now that he's back from a grueling rehab.
“It was a grind,” Smith said. “Going through it, expecting to be back by a certain date, and then, you have a hiccup and you just get pushed back further and further. You have your expectations, you have the club’s expectations, the fans’ expectations. So, it’s a lot to go through, but I’m just glad to be done with it and be back and healthy.”
Smith is now focused on taking care of his arm, shoulder, and elbow as best he can.
And he believes Boston's bullpen can be elite.
“My previous seasons, healthy seasons, I’ve had a much weaker bullpen than what we have this year,” Smith said. “I’m excited to be with those guys, to compete with those guys and push each other to be one of the best.”
The Red Sox play the Twins today.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman reports: