Giants expect May 1 return for Will Smith

The Giants expect lefty reliever Will Smith to make his long-awaited return to the big league roster on May 1, barring any unforeseen bumps in the road.

San Francisco traded Andrew Susac and minor league pitcher Phil Bickford to Milwaukee to acquire Smith in Aug. 2016. He appeared in 26 games over the final two months of that season, going 1-1 with a 2.95 ERA, but decided to undergo Tommy John surgery after experiencing pain in his left elbow. Smith will provide a boost to the Giant bullpen, carrying a 3.13 ERA in career 225 games since switching from the rotation to the bullpen in 2013.

He has pitched in two games for High-A San Jose and another three with Triple-A Sacramento, so far striking out nine and giving up two runs in 4-2/3 innings

Smith praised the Giants’ medical staff saying they’ve done an “incredible job,” meanwhile expressing gratitude for the support and advice of his teammates:

“I think being around the guys helped. … It was just nice to be around them, plus everybody over here has gone through (injury rehabilitation) before, so I’d ask [Josh] Osich, ‘Hey, something’s up today, what do you got,’ and he’d tell me. It’s helped having people around that have been through the process.”

Skipper Bruce Bochy was more than pleased with the rapidly approaching target date for Smith’s return.

He said:

“You’re getting a proven setup-type left-hander that has a lot of experience and has really good stuff, so it’s gonna make the bullpen even better.”