Relievers Lewis, Smith Signed For 2011
Jensen Lewis
Jensen Lewis
Indians Ink
Posted Dec 3, 2010


Right-handers Jensen Lewis and Joe Smith have signed contracts for 2011 with the Indians. Both had inconsistent results in 2010 and spent some time at Triple-A Columbus in addition to being part of Cleveland's bullpen. Though they are under contract for next season, neither is guaranteed of having a job in the Indians' bullpen again -- though both have displayed the ability to do a good job.

In 2010, Lewis went 4-2 with a 2.97 ERA in 37 relief appearances. In 36 1-3 innings, he allowed 28 hits and 19 walks, striking out 29.

Lewis should have changed his uniform number to 71 -- as he kept bouncing between Cleveland and Columbus all season. He made the trip back and forth along I-71 between the two cities five times.

Lewis has a Major League record of 7-11 with a 3.68 ERA and 14 saves in 161 career relief appearances.

Smith went 2-2 with a 3.83 ERA in 53 relief appearances for the Indians this past season. In 40 innings, he allowed 30 hits and 24 walks, striking out 32.

The 26-year-old, acquired from the New York Mets after the 2008 season, recorded an ERA of 1.74 over his final 26 games from July 31 thru the end of the 2010 season and finished tied for 14th among American League relievers with a team-high 17 holds.

Smith also was fourth in the AL in percentage of inherited runners that scored (19%, 7 of 36). Right-handed hitters batted just .160 (17-106) off him. Overall, 44 of his 53 appearances with Cleveland were scoreless.

Smith has a career Major League record of 11-7 with a 3.57 ERA in 226 relief appearances.

Both relievers need to show more consistency in throwing strikes. Lewis, in particular, has had a frustrating tendency of getting ahead in the count, only to yield a home run on a pitch grooved down the middle.

Both will be challenged for jobs by young Vinnie Pestano, Josh Judy and Jess Todd among others from the Indians' minor-league system in 2011.

The Indians have now offered contracts to all players for the 2011 season.


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