Matt Smith, part of the four-player package received from the Yankees in the Bobby Abreu/Cory Lidle deal, will replace struggling right-hander Brian Sanches in the Phillies bullpen.
Smith has pitched well this season in stops with the Yankees, Columbus and Scranton Wilkes-Barre. He posted a 2.00 ERA in nine games for the Red Barons and a 2.08 ERA in 24 games for the Clippers, in addition to 12 shutout innings for the Yankees earlier in the season.
The Phillies are high on the 27-year-old left-hander, who was recently converted to a full-time reliever. At the time of the acquisition, Phils assistant GM Mike Arbuckle said it wouldn’t take long before Smith would get his promotion.
The 6-5, 225-pound southpaw is a former fourth-round pick of the Yankees. He was acquired July 30 with three other players in the deal for Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle.
To clear room, Brian Sanches was optioned back to Scranton Wilkes-Barre. Sanches wore out his welcome yesterday after giving up back-to-back home runs in the Cubs 11-2 route of the Phillies. He leaves with a 6.38 ERA in 19 innings, with 18 strikeouts and 12 walks. It’s possible the right-hander will return shortly when rosters are expanded next week.
The addition of Smith means over one-half of the Phillies entire pitching staff are lefties.
Coste cards are hot sellers
Chris Coste baseball cards, which could have been had for $2 bucks plus shipping before the season, are going for as high as $20 in the most recent Ebay auctions. Coste was a guest on ESPN2’s "Cold Pizza" this morning, and recently launched his own Web site, which includes a sample of his forthcoming second book.
Phillies looking at Conine
The Phillies are still looking for bench help and have reportedly looked at 40-year-old Orioles all-purpose veteran Jeff Conine. According to FoxSports, the stumbling block is that Conine, 40, needs just 38 plate appearances to guarantee his $2 million option for next season. The Orioles, however, are willing to include cash to facilitate a deal. The thought is that Conine, who burned the Phillies badly during the Marlins run at the World Series, could be used as a spare bat off the bench, or even a platoon partner with David Dellucci. Former Phillie outfielder Ricky Ledee was also designated for assignment today by the Mets.