I was reading something Astros-related today that brought to mind a question. Why is Jason Smith on the team? After all, Smith is 0-for-17 this year and failed in a key at-bat Sunday.
So I went and looked up Jason Smith’s Baseball Reference page. Jason Smith is 31 years old, a career .215 hitter. His list of similar batters is basically all backup catchers — Randy Knorr, Sal Fasano, Doug Mirabelli. Jeff Kunkel, another infielder, is on there. Smith plays most of the infield positions. I don’t know whether he’s a good fielder, but if he’s not, well, then you really wonder why he’s on the team.
Then I looked at Smith’s year-by-year stats and noticed his big year, if you can call it that, was with the Rockies in 2006. He hit .263 in 99 at-bats with 5 of his 17 home runs.
My first thought at this point was that he must have benefited from playing at Coors Field, so I looked that up. Wrong. In 2006, three of Jason Smith’s five home runs came at … Petco Park, the pitchingest park in the majors. He was 8-for-14 there with 3 home runs, batted .571/.625/1.286.
Perhaps he could be traded to the Padres.