RailRiders' Smith continues to excel at Triple-A

Yankees southpaw allows one hit, fans seven in first career shutout

Caleb Smith has recorded 35 strikeouts over his last 30 innings for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. (Stephen Pellegrino)

By Michael Leboff / MiLB.com | June 18, 2017 8:05 PM ET

Mother Nature collected the primary assist on Caleb Smith's first career shutout.

The Yankees southpaw allowed a hit and two walks while striking out seven over seven innings for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders in a rain-shortened 2-0 shutout of the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Field. Smith fanned seven and threw 58 of 84 pitches for strikes. 

"It feels good to get the shutout," he said. "My goal the past couple of outings has been to get through seven innings. My pitch count hasn't allowed it in the past, but tonight, I was able to accomplish that goal. And my pitch count was better, so that was nice."


Gameday box score


Smith (5-0) gave up his only hit to the first batter he faced, Ian Parmley, who caught the RailRiders flat-footed with a bunt down the third baseline. Instead of getting flustered, the 24-year-old focused on keeping Parmley out of scoring position and went on to retire 17 of the next 18 hitters he faced.

"It wasn't too frustrating because he put down a perfect bunt, and there was no way anybody could make a play on it. I just kept my cool and I am pretty quick to the plate. That didn't allow him to steal second and give them the opportunity to score."

After Jake Elmore reached on a throwing error by shortstop Tyler Wade, Smith walked Gregorio Petit to put runners at first and second with two outs, but was picked up by catcher Eddy Alvarez, who threw Elmore out trying to take third.

Video: Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Smith finishes shutout

Smith used two strikeouts in a 1-2-3 seventh to end his evening, and after a delay of over two hours, complete the shutout.

"It wasn't just one pitch that was working for me," the Sam Houston State product added. "I had at least one or two strikeouts on each of my pitches -- fastball, slider and changeup. My change was off early in the game, but I got it down and that helped keep them off balance. Really everything was working. I was throwing my slider back door for a strike and was able to locate my fastball really well."

MiLB include

Smith made one start for Double-A Trenton this season before being promoted to the RailRiders on April 13. Since then, the 25-year-old has logged 70 innings in 13 starts, producing a 2.44 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. 

"I know I can do this. I expect myself to go out there each time and throw seven innings and put up good numbers," the Texas native said. "I know it's not going to happen every time out, but it's just a matter of staying consistent and waiting on my opportunity to get to the next level. Once I get that chance, I need to make sure I'm prepared so that I can perform."

Yankees No. 14 prospect Tyler Austin drove in a run and Mark Payton reached base three times.

The RailRiders will be without MLB.com's No. 2 overall prospect Gleyber Torres for at least a week. The 20-year-old hyperextended his left elbow during a play at the plate Saturday.

Michael Leboff is a contributor to MiLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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