People who think the Phillies gave away Bobby Abreu away may be right. But then again, there is Matt Smith.
Smith, of course, was one of the minor league players the Phillies got from the Yankees for Abreu. Smith's name, when listed in the trade, didn’t raise eyebrows. But last season Smith pitched well for the Fightens. He didn’t pitch often, 8 and 2/3 innings, but when he did, he sparkled: 2.08 ERA.
Coming into spring training this year, the 28 year old lefty had to win a job. His competition was Fabio Castro and Eude Brito, both lefties, too.
But Smith didn’t have a good spring. In fact, he stunk: An ERA of 9.00 in nine appearances. For most 28 year old rookies, that’s pack your bags stuff. But the Phillies must see more of the other stuff in Smith’s pitches. So faster than you can say Chris Coste, Castro and Brito were sent back to the minor leagues.
With that comes the distinction of--being the only lefthander out of the bull pen--facing the toughest left-handed hitters in the National League, like Barry Bonds and Carlos Delgado; in the late innings, perhaps with the game on the line.
“…Harry the Phillies have the lefthander Matt Smith up in the bullpen…with Jeff Francoeur in the on deck circle, Charlie Manuel might go to Smith here in the seventh with Phillies up by a run.”
“Right you are Wheels…with Jones popping up here comes Manuel out of the dugout to get Myers and bring in the lefthander and we’ll take a quick break here in the top of the seventh with the Phillies leading the Braves, three to two.”
Like Yogi says, ‘it may get late early’ to see if the Phillies did indeed give Bobby Abreu away.