Attended Amelia (OH) High School where he earned three letters in baseball before sitting out his senior year while recovering from right arm surgery...also played three years of basketball and averaged 20.3 points and 6.7 rebounds a game...Attended Wright State (OH) University without a scholarship and was cut from the baseball team as a freshman…came back as a redshirt sophomore and changed to a sidearm delivery in his junior year...was 6-5 with a 1.53 ERA and 22 saves in 80 games (all in relief) over three years...in 2005 he was named WSU Team MVP...in 2006, he led the Horizon League with 13 saves (13th in NCAA) and was named Horizon League Pitcher of the Year and WSU Most Valuable Male Athlete...Drafted out of Wright State by the New York Mets in the third round of the 2006 MLB draft...signed by Mets scout Erwin Bryant...IN THE COMMUNITY: Along with his wife, Allie, started HelpCureHD, a charity supporting families and helping to cure Huntington’s Disease...Joe’s mother, Lee, was diagnosed with Huntington’s in February 2012 and sadly passed on Aug. 6, 2020...Joe’s wife, Allie LaForce, is a journalist, reporter and host for Turner Sports, covering the NBA on TNT...Was nominated for the 55th annual Hutch Award in 2020, which recognizes the MLB player who best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire of Fred Hutchinson, the legendary pitcher and manager who died of cancer at the age of 45...the Hutch Award is presented by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle...Originally joined the Astros on a two-year deal, signed on Dec. 13, 2017...upon conclusion of that contract, re-signed with the club on another two-year pact, covering the 2020-21 seasons...is eligible for free agency following the 2021 campaign.
Made four appearances for the Astros in Spring Training prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, tossing 4.1 innings...Did not pitch at Summer Camp and elected not to pitch in 2020 out of concerns for the health and safety of his family.
Posted another strong season after starting the year on the Injured List due to his recovery from offseason left Achilles tendon surgery... finished the season with a 1.80 ERA (5ER/25.0IP), the lowest of his career for a single season...held right-handed hitters to a .196 (11x56) batting average, his lowest mark since 2014 (.136)...recorded his lowest WHIP (0.96) since 2014 (0.80)...passed Darold Knowles, Joe Nathan, Armando Benitez, Bob Howry, Buddy Groom and Paul Quantrill on his way to the 43rd-most appearances by a reliever in MLB history (782)...placed on the 10-day Injured List on March 25 (left achilles tendon surgery)...transferred from the 10-day IL to the 60-day IL on June 27...activated from IL on July 12..posted a 10-game walkless streak from July 14-Aug 10, while recording a 2.08 ERA (2ER/8.2IP) with 6 strikeouts...recorded his first win of 2019 on Sept. 6 vs. SEA after tossing a scoreless 6th inning...it was his first win since Sept 1, 2018 vs. LAA...finished the regular season with a 1.80 ERA (2ER/10IP) over his last 11 appearances...didn't allow a run in 10 of those 11 outings...
was scoreless in eight of his 10 postseason appearances, recording a 3.12 ERA with two holds...held lefties 1x9 (.111) in the postseason...in Game 6 of the ALCS, recorded his first-career postseason hold...pitched in all four of Houston's wins in the ALCS...made his first career World Series appearance, pitching in four games in the Fall Classic...tossed 6.0 innings in six minor league rehab games between Triple A Round Rock (4g) and Double A Corpus Christi (2g)...posted a 4.50 ERA (3ER/6.0IP) with nine strikeouts and one walk.
Completed his 12th Major League season and the first of a two-year contract he signed with the Astros prior to 2018...marked the 12th consecutive season that he posted an ERA under 3.90...made 56 appearances on the year, giving him 754 appearances in his career...thru the end of the season, ranked 69th all-time in MLB in appearances, and second among active pitchers behind RHP Fernando Rodney (896)...recorded 11 holds, giving him 206 holds for his career, tied for the fifth-most in in the Majors over the last 50 years...trails only Mike Stanton (266), Arthur Rhodes (255), Joaquin Benoit (212) and Tyler Clippard (207)...had a tough start to the season, posting a 9.64 ERA (10ER/9.1IP) over his first 11 outings from March-April...went on to go 4-0 with a 2.23 ERA (9ER/36.1IP) and 36 strikeouts over his final 45 games from May through the end of the season... made his 11th appearance on an Opening Day roster...was placed on the Disabled list on June 10 with right elbow soreness...made two injury rehab appearances at Double A Corpus Christi, allowing four hits over 2.0 scoreless innings...was activated from the DL on July 3...had three long scoreless appearance streaks during the season: 10 games (Aug. 25-Sept. 17), nine games (July 5-July 24) and nine games (July 29-Aug. 21)...pitched in one game in the postseason, Game 3 of the ALCS vs. BOS...pitched 0.1 of an inning, giving up a solo home run to Steve Pearce.
Went a combined 3-0 with one save and a 3.33 ERA in 59 relief appearances with Toronto and Cleveland (54.0IP, 46H, 20ER, 10BB, 71SO)...his 11.83 strikeouts per 9.0 innings ratio and 7.10 strikeout to walk ratio were both career-bests...acquired by Cleveland at the trade deadline...recorded scoreless outings in 18 of his 21 appearances with Cleveland (9 holds)...was on the 10-day Disabled List from June 19-July 21, with right shoulder inflammation...rehabbed in Triple A Buffalo from July 14-19...including his last four appearances with Toronto in July, posted a second-half ERA of 3.22 in 25 appearances (22.1IP, 18H, 8ER, 2BB, 24SO, .214 avg)... recorded his only save of the season on Sept. 1 at DET, inducing a bases-loaded, line-out to end the game in relief of RHP Cody Allen...overall on the year, batters hit .236 (21x89) off him with runners on and .191 (9x47) with runners in scoring position...did not walk a batter over his 21 outings with Cleveland, and allowed just one home run over his last 25 appearances...made four appearances for the Indians in the ALDS against the Yankees...was scoreless in all four outings (2.1IP)...walked just one batter and did not yield a hit.
On August 1, was traded by the Angels to the Chicago Cubs for prospect Jesus Castillo...In 16 more appearances with the Cubs to finish the season, had a 1-1 record and a 2.51 ERA...Overall in 2016, combined with both the Angels and Cubs to make 54 total appearances with a 1-4 record and a 3.82 ERA...Was a member of the Cubs' 2016 World Series championship team, but did not make any postseason appearances.
Pitched in 70 games for Angels, going 5-5 with five saves and a 3.58 ERA (65.1 IP - 26 ER). Led American League with 32 holds (ranked third in Majors). Is one of two big league pitchers (also Tyler Clippard) to pitch at least 70 games in each of last five seasons. Second pitcher in Angels history with multiple seasons of at least 70 appearances (Scot Shields, 2005-07). Opened the season with seven consecutive scoreless appearances (7 IP), marking third longest season-opening streak of career. Prior to All-Star break, allowed one earned run in 14.1 innings pitched on the road (0.63 ERA). Earned wins in back-to-back appearances (July 8 at Colorado and July 17 vs. Boston)... Marked fourth ti me in career as winning pitcher in consecutive outings. Did not allow a run in 18 of last 21 road appearances. Missed 11 games from Sept. 18-29 after suffering foot injury on Sept. 17 at Minnesota (was not placed on disabled list)... Assumed closing duties upon his return after Huston Street suffered a groin injury on Sept. 26... Recorded saves in each of Angels final two victories of season (Oct. 2-3).
Completed first season with Angels with a 7-2 record, 15 saves and a 1.81 ERA (74.2 IP - 15 ER) in 76 relief appearances...Set or matched career-highs in wins, saves, games, innings pitched and strikeouts while posting his lowest career single-season ERA...Is one of two big league pitchers (also Tyler Clippard) to pitch at least 70 games in each of last four seasons...His 67 scoreless appearances led American League and set an Angels franchise single-season record (previously 63 by Francisco Rodriguez in 2008)...Established Angels record with 10 consecutive hitless games with at least one inning pitched (June 28-July 13)...Led all Angels relievers in victories, games and innings pitched...Had streak of 23 consecutive scoreless appearances from June 24 - Aug. 9 (fourth longest streak in Angels history)...During month of July, went 2-0 with eight saves and a 0.00 ERA (17 IP - 0 ER)...Retired 49 of 54 batters faced (four hits and one walk)...Finished July with a 0.294 WHIP, the lowest single month WHIP in Majors in last 100 years (min. 15 IP)...Teammate Fernando Salas later broke record in Aug. with a 0.267 WHIP...Had streak of retiring 31 consecutive right-handed batters faced from June 26 - July 29...Marked longest streak by Angels pitcher in last 40 years...Earned saves in both games of July 1 doubleheader at Chicago White Sox...Became first Angels pitcher with saves in both games of a doubleheader since Troy Percival on Sept. 6, 2003 vs. Kansas City...Eight of 16 runs allowed on season came vs. Oakland...Seven of 16 runs were scored or driven in by Yoenis Cespedes.
Led Indians relievers with 25 holds which were also tied for 7th among American League relief pitchers...Also ranked 13th in the AL in relief ERA (2.29), tied for 15th in games pitched (70) and tied for 4th with six relief wins... Opened the year with 10 straight scoreless outings from April 2 - May 1... Recorded first career Major League save on April 3 at Toronto in his 371st career big league game...Was the active leader in games pitched without having a save at the time... Registered 13 consecutive scoreless appearances from July 27 - August 25 over 13 innings pitched...Both were club season highs in relief for the Tribe... Had a 0.75 ERA (24 IP - 2 ER) from July 27th thru the end of the season... Did not get charged with a run in 57 of 70 appearances, his third straight 70-appearance season and the fourth of his career... Finished the season with three saves and allowed just one successful stolen base.
Was once again a valuable and reliable member of the Tribe's bullpen corps, finishing second on the team with 21
holds, which ranked tied for 11th among American League relievers...His pct. of inherited runners who scored (21%, 10
of 47) ranked 9th-best in the AL...Also ranked tied for 2nd in the AL with a club-high 7 relief wins, including 4 straight
at one point that also equaled a club-high by a starter/reliever (club-high by relief pitcher). ERA from May 27 through the end of the season was 2.49 in 51 games (47.0IP, 36H, 13ER, 37K) and from June 22nd-on
his ERA was 2.43 (37.0IP, 27H, 10ER)...Allowed runs in only 16 of his 72 appearances, which were tied for 10th--most
in the American League...Topped the 70-appearance mark for the 3rd time in his career and second consecutive
season...Finished strong, as his ERA from August 22nd thru the end of the year was 1.50 (18.0IP, 14H, 3ER)....Did not
allow a run over his last 8 appearances of the season from Sept. 18-on (7.1IP, 3H, 0R). Major League hitters batted .213 (53-249) off him with runners on base, the 17th-lowest mark among American League
relievers...Yielded only a .213 (16-75) average against with runners in scoring position and .184 (7-38) mark with RISP
and 2 outs....Batting average (.218 vs. LH; .209 vs. RHP) and OPS (.585 vs. LH; .600 vs. RH) were virtually identical
for the second straight season....32.2 of his 67.0 innings pitched came in the 7th inning ahead of Vinnie Pestano and
Chris Perez...Batters hit .222 (28-126) off him with runners on base...First batters faced average of .167 (11-66) was
7th-best among AL relief pitchers.
Had an outstanding season setting up for Chris Perez, finishing 4th among American League relievers in relief ERA (2.01), tied for 2nd in relief appearances (71), tied for 16th in holds (16), tied for 12th in relief innings pitches (67.0) and 21st in relief batting average against (.217)...Began the year on the 15-day disabled list with a spring training abdominal strain, making 4 rehab appearances at AA Akron before being activated on April 15...Spent the remainder of the season on the active roster...60 of his 71 appearances were scoreless...Did not allow an earned run over 27 straight appearances from May 12-July 15 (25.2IP), the third most games in club history w/out allowing an earned run within a single-season...Recorded 19 consecutive scoreless appearances over 19.0IP (12H, 0R) from June 2-July 15, both season-highs among Indians pitchers in terms of scoreless innings/games...Tossed a career-high 2.2IP on August 21 at Detroit...Over his last 62 appearances from May 12 thru the end of the season his ERA was 1.83 (59.0 IP, 43H, 12ER, .207AVG) ...From August 9 thru the end of the season after allowing 3 runs in 0.0IP on August 7th at Texas was 2.35 (23G, 23.0IP, 17H, 6ER)...Allowed 5 runs in 10.0IP over 11 games after September 5...Average vs. lefties went from .342 (13-38) in 2010 to .152 (12-79) in 2011...OPS went from .979 (.479/.500) to .460 (.244/.265) this season.
Spent most the season in the Major League bullpen save for a 20 appearance stretch in AAA Columbus in May and
June and ended the season as one of the Tribe's most effective relievers after a change in his mechanics.
...Opened the season in the Indians bullpen and went 0-1 w/a 7.71 ERA in his first 9 appearances (7.0IP, 7H, 6R/ER)
before being optioned to AAA Columbus on April 30...Only blown save chance was on April 8 at Chicago-AL...Was
with Columbus from April 30-June 22 and spent the remainder of the season with Cleveland after June 22 recall.
...Went 2-1 w/2 saves (3 chances) at AAA Columbus with a 1.96 ERA in 20 games (23.0IP, 17H, 5ER, 19K, .207
AVG)...Over his last 12 outings his ERA was 0.66 (13.2IP, 8H, 1ER)...Worked at least 1.0IP in 18 of his 20 Columbus
appearances...Triple-A hitters were 9-for-52 (.173) off him, hit .188 (9-48) with runners on and .194 (6-31) with RISP.
...After his second recall had an ERA of 3.00 (33.0IP, 23H, 11ER, 18BB, 27K) and over his last 41 outings, 37 of which
were scoreless, his ERA was 2.40 (30.0IP, 18H, 8ER)...On the year 44 of his 53 appearances with Cleveland were
scoreless...Did not allow a run in his 14 appearances (9.0IP, 2H, 0R, 4BB, 6K) from 6/28-7/27...7/29 vNYY 0.1IP, 3H,
4R/ER...From July 31-on his ERA was 1.74 (20.2IP, 13H, 4ER, .181AVG)...Did not allow a run over his last 11 outings
in Sept/Oct (9.2IP, 7H, 0R, 3BB, 11K) to lower his season ERA from 5.04 to 3.83.
...Was tied for 14th in the AL with a team-high 17 holds, 4th in % of inherited runners that scored (19%, 7/36) and 10th
with a first batter average of .159 (7-44)...Right-handed hitters batted .160 (17-106) off him with a .538 OPS...Batters hit
.219 (16-73) with runners on base, .209 (9-43) with RISP and .182 (4-22) with RISP-2outs...Overall big league hitters
batted .208 30-144, 4HR) off him (lefties hit .342 (13-38)...Tribe Record: 29-24 (.547).
Had a trying first season in the Indians organization from an injury standpoint and was effective over his 37
relief appearances between two official stints on the disabled list...Was limited to 8 appearances in spring
training after being sidelined early in camp with a viral infection that required hospitalization Came back from
that in early March and was sidelined with a sore finger on his pitching hand...
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2010 C leveland Indians
Career Game Highs
BB 's: 3, April 11, 2009 vs. Toronto; K's: 4, Sept. 30, 2007 vs. Florida; L ONGEST OUT ING: 2.1IP, two times, last
July 6, 2008 at PHI; WINN ING STREA K: 5 games, August 29, 2008-September 25, 2008 (current); LOSING
STREA K: 2 games, two times, last July 22 thru July 28, 2008; SA VE STREA K: N/A; HR: 1, 11 times, last on
August 29, 2009 at Baltimore; LAST WIN: September 25, 2008 vs. Chicago-NL; LAST SA VE: N/A; SC ORELESS INN INGS: 15.1IP, April 1 thru May 5, 2007.
u Opened the season on the big league roster and the rigors of the season caught up to him after his abbreviated
spring...Was 0-1 w/a 7.11 ERA in 8 relief appearances in April (6.1IP, 7H, 5ER, 5BB, 6K) before right shoulder
soreness forced him onto the 15-day DL on April 29 (right rotator cuff strain)...Was on the DL from April
29-June 8 and made 5 scorelesss appearances in AAA Columbus from May 30-June 7...Upon his activation
to thru his 2nd DL stint in September he was 0-0 w/a 2.60 ERA in 29 games (27.2IP, 23H, 8ER, 24K)...
u From June 20-August 16 he allowed a run in just 1 of 20 outings (0.96ERA, 18.2IP, 14H, 2ER) and from July
17-August 16 he recorded 12 straight scoreless appearances (10.2IP, 8H, 0R)...Was placed on the 15-day
disabled list a second time with a left knee sprain on Sept. 1 and missed the remainder of the regular season
after making last outing on August 29th at Baltimore...
u Batters hit .262 (17-65) with runners on base and .293 (12-41) with RISP, .222 (4-18) with RISP-2outs...Lefties
had a .992 OPS off him compared to an OPS of .615 by righties...Lefties hit .355 off him and RHH batted
.198...Underwent a left knee arthroscopy on Sept. 30 at the Cleveland Clinic to remove loose bodies from
the joint and will be ready for full baseball activities in February when spring training opens in Goodyear,
Arizona...Surgery was performed by Dr. Mark Schickendantz & Dr. Jim Williams.
Spent the entire 2008 season in the Mets bullpen, going 6-3 w/a 3.55 ERA in 82 games (63.1IP, 51H, 25ER,
31BB, 52K, 4HR), limiting Major League hitters to just a .220 (51-232) average allowed...Right-handed hitters
batted just .192 (35-182) off him as he sported a .206 (14-68) average against overall with runners in scoring
position...He finished tied for 3rd in the National League with 82 appearances (T3rd most in club history) and his inherited
runners scored percentage of 17% (11 of 63) was the 2nd best mark in the NL (6th best in the Majors)...He
went a club relief record 4-0 in September w/a 1.80 ERA in 14 appearances (10.0IP, 6H, 2ER, 11K)...His four
victories in September were the most by any Mets relief pitcher in a month in one season...Led all major league
relievers in wins in September...Was T5th in the National League with six relief victories...Was 16th in the NL
with 18 holds...Did not permit an earned run over 18 outings (12.2 innings) from August 12th-September 17th...Had his scoreless
streak snapped at 12.2 innings when he allowed two unearned runs on September 17th...Was unscored
upon in 36 of his last 46 appearances and did not allowed an earned run in 52 of his final 67 games...Permitted
one run over his first eight outings spanning 8.0 innings (1.13 ERA)...Struck out seven consecutive batters
spanning five appearances from May 5th-May 14th.
Ranked fifth among National League rookie pitchers with 54 appearances...Had 45 strikeouts in 44.1 innings of work (9.14 strikeouts per nine innings)...Did not allow an earned run in 45 of his 54 outings...Hurled 15.1 scoreless innings in his first 17 major league outings to establish the club record for a rookie reliever to start his career,
before allowing three runs on May 12th vs. Milwaukee...Dennis Musgraves held the previous mark, tossing 9.0 shutout frames in
1965...Posted a 1.57 ERA (four earned runs/23.0 innings) against NL East opponents...Had a 2.75 ERA (11 earned runs/36.0 innings) in the first half...Began the year with New York...Was optioned to New Orleans (AAA) of the Pacific Coast League on July 26th...Recalled for a
second time on September 16th...Placed on the New Orleans Disabled List on August 24th with right biceps tendonitis...Came off the DL on September 2nd...Picked up the win on September 23rd at Florida with a 1-2-3, 10th inning...The Mets won the contest, 7-6, in 12 innings...Worked a season-high 2.1 shutout innings on July 7th at Houston...Earned his first major league victory on April 24th vs. Colorado...Worked 0.2 scoreless innings in New York's 2-1, 12-inning win
over the Rockies...Had his 6.2 scoreless innings streak snapped on May 29th at San Francisco, but earned the win when New York rallied to win,
5-4, in 12 innings...Allowed one run in 10.1 innings (0.87 ERA) from May 14th-June 7th...Pitched in 14 games in April...Before Smith, no Mets rookie had even pitched 10 games in April...The last Mets rookie to pitch in
14 games in any month was Heath Bell in May, 2005...The Mets rookie record is 15 games held by Jeff Reardon in September, 1979
and Roger McDowell in September, 1985...Stranded the bases loaded on April 21st vs. Atlanta and also on April 11th vs. Philadelphia...Made his major league debut with 0.1 scoreless inning on April 1st at St. Louis...Struck out Preston Wilson for his first major league
strikeout...Named the John J. Murphy Award winner for the most impressive spring by a first-year invitee.
Began his professional career with Brooklyn (A) of the New York-Penn League by allowing two runs, one earned in 1.0 inning of work against the Staten Island Yankees on June 21...Did not allow a run over his last 16 outings with the Cyclones (19.0 innings)...Over that stretch, he gave up eight hits with three walks and 26 strikeouts...Opponents hit .141 (10-71) against him...Led the team with nine saves...Promoted to Binghamton (AA) of the Eastern League on Aug. 1...Went 3.0 innings for the first time in his career, Aug. 12 vs. Bowie...Gave up no runs on two hits with a walk and two strikeouts...Named one of the top 20 prospects in the New York-Penn League by Baseball America.