On Saturday, the Yankees released IF Luis A. Garcia and sent LHP Matt Smith, RHP Matt Childers, RHP Jose Veras, RHP Ramiro Mendoza, C Omir Santos, INF Russ Johnson, INF Damian Rolls and INF Felix Escalona to the minors.
- First, the real "Prospects":
LHP Matt Smith pitched very well at both AA Trenton and AAA Columbus in 2005. He racked up 92 strikeouts in just over 82 innings at two levels, mostly in relief. He had been largely unimpressive in 2001, 2002 and 2004, and had been non-existent in 2003, evidently rehabbing an injury. Smith, like Bean, seems better suited to relief, but like DeSalvo, he walks a batter almost every other inning, which is a trend that must change if he is to have any kind of career in The Show. Another dangerous trend is his age. At 26, and with only 28 innings of experience above AA ball, he’d better turn a lot of heads in 2006 to earn a look in a major league bullpen.
Smith gave up 4 runs in 6.2 innings of official work this spring, but he only walked one batter, so maybe he's getting that under control. Or maybe it was a fluke. Keep an eye on him in Columbus, as lefties who can strike batters out will always have a place on a major league roster somewhere.
Read the rest at Pending Pinstripes...