Smith opened the 2007 season as the Phillies top left-handed reliever, but his stay was short lived. He missed almost the entire season with Tommy John surgery.
Smith, 28, was part of the 2006 Bobby Abreu trade. After the deal, the Phillies wasted no time in using him despite having little Major League experience. He pitched surprisingly well and the Phillies thought they had something going into 2007, but he was all over the place and was demoted less than a month into the season. Soon after, he was on the shelf with a bum elbow. The move clears room of the 40-man roster, which stands at an even 40.
Beerleaguer: They should be able to pass him through waivers. There are a number of players - Anderson Garcia, John Ennis, T.J. Bohn - with less appeal on the 40-man roster. If Smith factored into their plans, it would have been as a September call-up. If they're certain they can keep him, it makes sense to jettison Smith and keep all the others. We'll see what happens.
Of all the prospects received in the Abreu deal, Smith figured to be immediately useful as a young-ish second lefty out of the pen. Not especially overpowering, his best pitch is a slider, rendered ineffective because of brutal command in '07.
As an older player with little experience, he faces an uphill climb after elbow surgery. If he's claimed by another club, it's no great loss.