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Whatever happened to Nate Smith?

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Nate Smith hasn’t been around much and started the season on the DL for the Bees.

MLB: Spring Training-San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Angels Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Remember Nate Smith? You know, the guy that sits at #5 on the Halos Heaven (and MLB.com) top prospect list?

Starting pitching issues have already reared their ugly head in 2017. JC Ramirez has started the first two games of his career. Alex Meyer is getting called up to start on Friday. It’s a pitching merry-go-round and Nate Smith is absent so far.

Smith, who had been poised to get a September call up last year, ended up on the DL to end the season due to “elbow soreness”. Sounds pretty harmless right? Well, this is the Angels we are talking about, and like many MLB teams, they are very careful what words they use when talking about injuries.

Smith pitched in the MLB Future’s game at Petco Park last July and had a pretty solid first half for Salt Lake with a 3.99 ERA, 1.31 WHIP and 77 Ks in 94.2 IP. Enter the second half and his ERA jumped to 5.66 along with a 1.54 WHIP. It’s probable that something was started to bug Smith.

Pedro Moura recently answered some Angels mailbag questions, and the topic of Smith came up.

Left-hander Nate Smith has not pitched yet because of a forearm strain. It’s unclear how long he’s expected out.

Roh roh. That’s doesn’t sound very good does it? Sounds like he hasn’t pitched since early last September. However, Jeff Fletcher recently responded to this same question on an Angels forum and he said on Monday:

He was injured during spring training. Last I heard (a week ago) he had started throwing off a mound so he shouldn't be out much longer.

It’s possible he REALLY did have an elbow issue last September and NOW has an forearm strain from the spring. Not a lot of detail on this. Also seems odd he wouldn’t have been in big league camp in Tempe. Either way, we are hoping for the best and will keep you posted!