PHILADELPHIA -- Will Smith will not be impressed by your Will Smith joke.
"I've heard all the jokes," he said, smiling. "Here and in Miami, I catch it bad ... 'Bienvenido a Miami.'"
Smith joined the Giants in Philadelphia, the original TV home of the other Will Smith, and this road trip ends in Miami, the inspiration for a Smith song. The lefty reliever has a good sense of humor about it, and he said he learned to embrace it early. In Milwaukee, the Brewers did a tribute video. Smith said the social media people there loved the fact that he was named Will Smith.
When the trade became official Monday, a Giants official got a text from a Royals official saying that Smith was one of the best guys to ever come through the Kansas City clubhouse. He's been pretty good on the field, too, and Bruce Bochy is counting on having a new Jeremy Affeldt-style weapon. Smith will face lefties and righties and pitch multiple innings. He has the equipment to close if needed, and he seems to like the tight spots.
"I enjoy big situations," he said. "That's why you play the game."
Smith gave up two hits in his Giants debut but he's been one of the better relievers in the NL the past three seasons. He had a 3.28 ERA for the Brewers and pitched in 78 and 76 games in back-to-back years. Smith has been slowed this year by a torn knee ligament suffered when he was pulling his spikes on. He said it took him a couple days to find humor in the situation, and teammate Tyler Thornburg helped him get over the initial disappointment by throwing one of his shoes in the garbage and taking a picture with the caption, "We've got your back, Will."
Smith wears a knee brace, but he's 100 percent healthy. Bochy was impressed with his stuff Tuesday and Smith struck out the first batter he faced as a Giant. He didn't throw any of Affeldt's famous "scuds" but said he'll play in the dirt when he can (sorry, Buster).
"I call it back-footing guys," Smith said. "But I love 'scuds.' I might start using that."
--- Conor Gillaspie gets the start at third tonight. Even before Eduardo Nunez made a big error yesterday, Bochy hinted that this would be the case. "I'll mix and match," he said today. "Conor has been swinging the bat well and he's earned this playing time. Nunez will still get playing time at third and he's going to give Panik and Crawford days off. He can play the outfield. He's a pretty nice weapon coming off the bench, a right-handed bat with speed."
--- Cory Gearrin needed just eight pitches to get through an inning for the River Cats on Monday, but it doesn't sound like he'll be back soon. Bochy said Gearrin will go through the rehab process for now. He's healthy, but the Giants don't have an obvious move to make.
--- Derek Law and Hunter Strickland might be off tonight after working quite a bit over the past week. Bochy said Jake Peavy will be available in the sixth-seventh range.
--- Here's my story closing the door on the homegrown infield. Brandon Belt's message to Matt Duffy was pretty funny. And if you can handle it, here's Duffy in his new uniform.