Chad Smith Becomes 109th Trojan Major Leaguer After Call-Up to Detroit Tigers

    Chad Smith pitched for the Trojans from 2009-11.

    June 18, 2014

    LOS ANGELES - Right-handed relief pitcher Chad Smith was called up to the Detroit Tigers from Triple-A Toledo to shore up the big league bullpen on Wednesday.

    Smith, 24 years old, becomes the 109th Trojan big leaguer, adding to the Trojan legacy in Major League Baseball, as Troy has produced the most big leaguers all-time of any college program.

    Smith was a 17th round draft pick of the Tigers out to Troy in 2011, just two weeks after having Tommy John surgery. The Thousand Oaks, Calif., native has risen quickly through the ranks to the majors. 

    After spending his first season in pro ball rehabbing from Tommy John, he finally got into the system two summers ago and has consistently delivered at every level. After spending the 2013 season in Class A ball, he skipped Class A Advanced and started the 2014 season at Double-A Erie. He made just seven outings there in April, posting a 1-0 record with a 2.08 ERA before being called up to Triple-A Toledo. In Toledo, he has pitched in 15 games, boasting a 4-2 record with a 1.64 ERA. So far this season at both stops, Smith has posted a 5-2 record with a 1.80 ERA and has held opponents to a .220 batting average. Overall he has thrown 152.2 innings in the minor leagues, boasting an 11-8 record and a 2.24 ERA through 79 games (10 starts). He has tallied 154 strikeouts while holding opponents to a .226 batting average.

    The Tigers will look to Smith to shore up a shaky bullpen. Whenever he takes the mound in his major league debut, Smith will become the 14th player to pitch out of the Tigers' bullpen this season.

    During three seasons at Troy, Smith mostly worked out of the bullpen, with a few spot starts. He appeared in 60 career games, making 10 starts. He tallied seven saves and owns a career 9-12 record with a 3.77 ERA in a Trojan uniform. He threw 121.2 innings, striking out 122 and only walking 53. Opponents batted .248 against the righty. As a sophomore in 2010, Smith threw a season-high 56.1 innings in 23 appearances, striking out 58 while going 5-6 with two saves.

    Overall there are eight Trojans currently playing in the majors - Smith, Grant Green (Angels), Brad Boxberger (Rays), Tommy Milone (A's), Ryan Cook (A's), Ian Kennedy (Padres), Lucas Duda (Mets) and J.P. Howell (Dodgers).