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Notes on the Joe Smith Press Conference


Dave Saltzer

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Here are some of my notes from today's press conference with Joe Smith and Jerry Dipoto:

 

Joe Smith is happy to be here. His girlfriend works out here. The biggest factor for him signing with the Angels was the inclusion of a third year and the chance to play near his girlfriend.

 

Jerry Dipoto targeted him early and made an early offer. Other teams were interested, but the Angels were made solid offers early on that made the decision easier.

 

For Dipoto, getting Smith, who throws side-arm was an important factor to give the bullpen a different look. Smith throws 89-92, which Dipoto believes will pair up well with the young power arms in the pen.

 

Dipoto is not done. Third base and the bullpen were two areas that the Angels identified as needing improvement at the outset of Spring Training. He knows about the starting pitching, and believes that there are many days left to get the starting pitching worked out. He did not see the moves made for Freese and Smith as limiting the moves for starting pitching.

 

The Angels have not finalized all non-tenders yet. Expect more later today.

 

The Angels still expect Burnett to be fully healthy by the start of Spring Training. They will know more in January after he starts throwing.

 

The Angels are now focusing more on starting pitching. They do not appear to be looking to make another major improvement in the bullpen (they see Burnett as that other improvement), but will consider any opportunity to improve the club.

 

Smith started throwing sidearm in college at the advice of his coach at the time.

 

Smith really improved once they started letting him pitch complete innings. At first low risk situations, but now is capable against righties and lefties equally and in high leverage situations.

 

Smith sees the Angels as a perpetually contending team, and the chance to play with a team that is contending, where the expectation was to win every game was important for him.

 

Smith came across as a decent person. He handled himself well in the interview, gave thorough and long answers, and should play a big part in restoring the bullpen to a source of strength. 

 

All-in-all, I'm very happy that the Angels signed Smith. There were several other teams interested, so, I see this signing as a being well within the going market rate for a pitcher of his caliber who can generate ground balls and strikeouts, gives the bullpen a different look, and can pitch an inning in high leverage situations.

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Thanks Dave as always!

NP Ettin. Trying to give you guys the straight scoops on things. I'll leave it to Alden, Fletcher and DiGi to give you all the exact quotes and put it all into an article. But, I thought I'd give you my take-a-way items. Yes, I know about the Jepsen tendering thing, but two things: 1) I'm never going to tweet something like that out faster than Alden--He's a twitter ninja. 2) Since they said that they would have final decisions out to us later, I thought I would hold off until everything became official.

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He's only the second Joe Smith in MLB history. The first Joe Smith was a 19-yr old catcher who appeared in a few games for the Yankees in 1913. His birth name was Salvatore Persico and he changed it to Joe Smith.

 

So our Joe Smith is the only REAL Joe Smith in baseball history.

As far as we know. You can never trust anyone named Joe Smith. 

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