LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Former Hudson Hornet Riley Smith will make his first start for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.
Smith will take the spot of Caleb Smith in Arizona’s rotation. In one relief appearance this season Smith threw five innings in the game and allowed five hits, three walks and two earned runs while striking out four. Smith also saw playing time last season.
“My dad taught me when I was younger that I had to go up and throw the ball across the plate,” Smith said. “Don’t be scared of them. They should be scared of you. I go up there with an agenda to play in the big leagues. It is something I have worked for my whole life. I am not going to waste that by being scared”
It is unclear how long Smith will be a starter but the team does see upside.
“We felt like there was a good attack plan that he follows and has a fearless mentality by filling up the strike zone and we’re looking forward for somebody to pitch deep into games,” manager Torey Lovullo said.
Last season Smith said the only downside to making his MLB debut was not having his family in attendance. This year will be different.
“My family has followed me around the country for baseball,” Smith said. “They live and breath it. My whole family will be here. Like 15-16 of them. I am excited to have them here and they are happy to see me start so they don’t have to drink red bulls to stay up and watch me come in relief.”
The game between Arizona and Cincinnati is set to start at 7 p.m. and can be watched on MLB TV.