SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants will begin the season without their top left-handed reliever, and there is concern that Will Smith will miss much more than just April.
Smith had an MRI on Monday night after coming out of a spring game with pain in his left elbow. Manager Bruce Bochy said the MRI, Smith's second of the spring, showed an elbow strain and also a sprain. General manager Bobby Evans said there is concern about the integrity of the ligament. Smith had previously missed the first month of camp with the same issue.
"There are things on the MRI that didn't necessarily show up on the last MRI," Evans said.
Smith flew to San Francisco to get a second opinion from team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki. The worst-case scenario would be season-ending Tommy John surgery. The Giants are hoping Smith just needs treatment and rehab, but even that path would likely sideline him for several months.
"We'll know more tomorrow," Bochy said. "But it's going to take a little while. Any time you re-injure it, you're always going to take longer, almost twice as long as before."
Smith was acquired at the deadline in 2016 in exchange for Andrew Susac and Phil Bickford. With Smith out, the Giants will lean heavily on young left-handers Josh Osich and Steven Okert, and potentially fifth-starter candidate Ty Blach, who threw three sharp innings of long relief Tuesday.