Boston Red Sox: Biggest disappointments of 2016 season

Apr 9, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) throws his helmet away after being forced out at second base in the seventh inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) throws his helmet away after being forced out at second base in the seventh inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /
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Sep 9, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Carson Smith (39) throws during the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Texas, 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Carson Smith (39) throws during the ninth inning against the Texas Rangers at Safeco Field. Seattle defeated Texas, 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

Carson Smith

How can we call a pitcher that didn’t give up a run all season a disappointment? Well, when he falls short of tossing three full innings all year, that would qualify. That’s where we find ourselves with Carson Smith.

The 26-year old reliever was acquired from the Seattle Mariners last winter to help form what was expected to be one of the league’s most formidable bullpens. While Red Sox relievers were vastly improved from the dismal results of the previous year, it was in no part thanks to Smith.

Smith’s tenure with the Red Sox got off to an ominous start in spring training when he was shut down with what was initially viewed as a minor arm injury. His return to the mound ended up taking longer than expected and when he did come back in early May there was still some lingering soreness that raised red flags.

The Red Sox would place Smith on the disabled list shortly after his season began and an MRI revealed the worst case scenario. Smith needed to undergo the dreaded Tommy John surgery, knocking him out for the year and likely the start of next season.

It’s unclear when we’ll see Smith on the mound again, but he should be able to contribute at some point in 2017. His expected return should allow the Red Sox to bolster a bullpen that ranked fifth in the league with a 3.56 ERA without needing to make a major free agent signing or trade.