Sox Scoops 40.203: "Sox Name Their Newcomer of the Year"

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Sox Scoops 40.203: "Sox Name Their Newcomer of the Year"

Post by HoosierVic » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:35 pm

By Mike Talley
Black Sox Beat Writer

Chicago Sports Online

The Chicago Black Sox named their “Newcomer of the Year” for 2040 on Thursday, honoring a player who joined the roster in late May and blossomed into a valuable contributor.

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Brian Smith
That player? Relief pitcher Brian Smith, who started the season with AA Beloit, was quickly promoted to AAA Carolina and then joined the Black Sox amid a flurry of injuries to pitchers.

Smith never looked back.

He appeared in 31 games for the Sox, all but one in relief, throwing 68.2 innings. He finished with a 2.62 ERA, 3.30 FIP, 64 Ks, 20 walks, and 1.3 WAR.

Smith compiled a 5-1 record, with 3 saves.

“To be honest, when we called Brian up in May, we didn’t think he’d be in Chicago long – we figured he’d go back to Carolina for more seasoning,” said pitching coach Art Messer. “But he banished those thoughts in a hurry – Brian established himself as a go-to guy in the ‘pen right from the start.”

Sox front office officials considered 1B Mark Simpson for the award, as well, but ultimately felt Smith’s longer season – and relatively unexpected contribution – couldn’t be ignored.

“Clearly, Mark made a huge impact on the team, and our offense pretty much collapsed after his injury,” said Manager Bret Richards. “But Brian … well, Brian was a wonderful surprise for us.

Smith can’t quite figure out why everyone was surprised, though.

“I mean, I did pretty well in the minors – it’s not like I sucked or anything,” he said. “I got the call to Chicago a little sooner than I thought, but I never felt like I didn’t belong in the BBA. Anyway, I guess it’s OK to be a surprise to your coaches – so long as it’s a good surprise!”

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