LHP Will Smith, made his debut against the Yankees and pitched incredibly, going 6 innings, allowing 3 earned runs over 7 hits and striking out four. He has a decent 2 seam fastball that can get most Major League hitters out an incredible curveball with tight break that comes in between 78-84 mph and a decent changeup and a waste pitch slider. After leading the Royals AA team the Naturals in wins last year, I started him there again to have him improve his command of the changeup and slider. After Ethan Hollingsworth began to struggle with his command, I called Smith up to AAA and at the time was 3-0 with a 2.03 ERA and had good command of all of his pitches.
At the Major League level, Felipe Paulino had started the season off great shutting down most teams with pure stuff. However in two starts against the White Sox and the Yankees, his command suffered and he wasn't striking out as many hitters and he was no longer getting deep into games.
Smith put up a no hitter in AAA right after Paulino's second struggle. I put together the numbers and performances from Smith's AA and AAA starts and decided that Smith would give a much needed boost to the MLB club. It was a tough decision considering that if he got rocked in the time he was up here that it may hurt his development. However the payoff couldn't be any better.
My future plans for both include for Paulino to make 5 starts at AAA before being called back up. Smith, in the mean time, will be our Number 5 starter and once Paulino's time is up, I would like to see smith in the bullpen and then send him down to work on whatever role worked best for him at the Major League Level.
*Will Smith was acquired by the Royals in the 2010 deadline trade that sent Alberto Callaspo to the Angels in exchange for Will Smith and Sean O'Sullivan.
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