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Josh Smoker added to Mets' 40-man roster

The Mets decided to add the lefty reliever to the 40-man roster to protect him from the upcoming rule-5 draft

Josh Smoker
Josh Smoker
Gordon Donovan

Josh Smoker, the 26-year-old left-hander from Double-A Binghamton, and former first-round draft of by the Washington Nationals, was added to the 40-man roster by the Mets on Thursday to protect him from being taken in the Rule 5 draft. Smoker pitched in Class A Savannah, High-A St. Lucie, and Double-A Binghamton this year, and had an aggregate 3.12 ERA and 11.0 K/9 ratio in 49 innings.

Amazin' Avenue's Jeffrey Paternostro, who saw Smoker, shared his notes:

"Smoker offers the most fastball velocity of anyone still in the minors and it comes from the left side. He sat 95-97 across multiple innings and touched 98. The velocity alone will have to be enough, as he creates his torque by opening everything early, so there is no deception to speak of and it's a below-average command profile given the effort and mechanics. Smoker does offer a pretty good downer change that should at least keep righties honest, but the breaking ball is well-below-average so this is not a traditional LOOGy profile"

He also addressed the risk that comes with Smoker, as well as how soon we may get to see the lefty fireballer:

"The downside risk for Smoker is an up and down middle reliever that major league hitters can square a bit too easily at times despite his arm strength, something in the vein of Rob Carson. I think the total package here is better than Carson though, and Smoker could be a useful pen option for the Mets as soon as Opening Day 2016."

Among other areas, the Mets will look to improve their bullpen for 2016. They'll be exploring options on the free agent market and in other teams' systems, but maybe part of the solution will come from within the organization.