Posts Tagged ‘Brett Smith’

Jennings: Whelan Out, Double-A Rotation Clearer

March 26, 2008

Since I’m stuck up in New Jersey, I’ve got to rely on various sources of information until the Thunder join me up here in about a week.

Another thing I can do is check out Chad Jennings SWB Yankees blog, and he’s got some information on there that’s relevant to Thunder fans.

Jennings confirms something I’d been hearing rumblings about lately — that Kevin Whelan’s sore shoulder won’t allow him to start the season in Trenton.  Not good news for Whelan, who got passed in the organization by a few guys last year who might have to convert from starters to relievers to have a better shot reaching the Bronx.

Jennings also wrote that Anthony Claggett is having a hamstring issue and won’t be ready to start the year, and that when he is ready, he’ll come out of the bullpen.  So, the Thunder rotation?

According to Jennings, it’s looking like Daniel McCutchen, Phil Coke, George Kontos, Jason Jones and Brett Smith.

I think everyone has come to the conclusion that McCutchen’s going to get the ball on April 3rd in Binghamton.  But the exact order after that seems to be unclear.  My guess is that you’d see some combo of Jones and Smith in the 2 and 3 slots, and some combo of Coke and Kontos in the 4 and 5 slots.  I could see Kontos as the 3, but we’ll see.

What would my rotation look like?  McCutchen – Jones – Kontos – Smith – Coke

Yours?

If nobody in the rotation is skipped, or if no other unforeseen issues occur, then the team’s #3 starter would start the home opener on April 10th against Harrisburg.  But Thunder fans will get to see the entire rotation, as the team is home for five more days after that.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com

Best of 2007: Moment #16

January 22, 2008

Brett Smith / Photo by Mike Ashmore

Moment #16 – Brett Smith’s no-hitter
July 4, 2007
Trenton, NJ

It’s incredible when you think of just how far Brett Smith fell after throwing the first no-hitter by a Thunder pitcher in the history of Waterfront Park.

You would have thought he would have followed the path that Alan Horne or Jeff Marquez did based on what he did early in the season, but his season fell apart after he was somewhat unexpectedly sent down just two games after his Independence Day no-no.

Smith started the season on fire, leaving after seven innings with a no-hitter intact on April 21st against the Binghamton Mets…which at the time was the most impressive performance I’d seen by a Thunder pitcher since Tyler Clippard had taken a perfect game into the 7th inning in 2006.

After that, he had two consecutive starts where he allowed one hit over eight innings of work in the month of May.

But even during his no-hitter, Smith struggled with his control late in his stay with the Thunder, walking a mind-boggling seven during the five innings of the rain-shortened contest.

He made just one more start for Trenton, but was pulled after just three and two thirds innings.  After that, he made a brief appearance out of the bullpen, but faced eight batters in one inning of work.

Smith was then sent down to Single-A Tampa, where he more or less imploded.  He went 0-6 in eight starts, and his ERA was a robust 7.68.  He had more walks than strikeouts, and had at least two free passes in every start.

In a farm system absolutely overflowing with pitching prospects, Smith had a year he couldn’t afford to have, and may have fallen off the prospect map.  It’ll take a huge 2008 to re-gain his status as someone to keep an eye on, and it’s a season that will likely see him return to Mercer County.

Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com