R-Fightins get veteran LHP for the rotation

Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Reading Fightins needed some help in the starting pitching department and found someone, just in the nick of time. Veteran Greg Smith signed a minor league deal with the Phillies and will start for Reading tonight.

Veteran left-hander Greg Smith, 29, has joined the Phillies organization and will debut with the Reading Fightin Phils tonight when they open a series in Portland.

Smith, who was released by the Toronto Blue Jays in March after signing with them as a minor league free agent, has pitched in the majors with the Oakland A's and Colorado Rockies. In 40 major league games, Smith has a mark of 8-18 with a 4.51 ERA.

Last season, Smith split his time with Arkansas (AA) and Salt Lake (AAA) in the Anaheim Angels organization, posting a combined record of 11-11 with a 4.05 ERA.

To make room for Smith, the Phillies released outfielder Ron Welty. The Phillies sent pitcher Julio Rodriguez to Baltimore this spring to acquire Welty, who was hitting just 1-3-.162/.220/.243 in 15 games with the Fightins.

If he pitches well, Smith could put himself into the discussion to either move up to Triple-A Lehigh Valley when Roy Halladay goes on the DL or potentially take Halladay's spot in the rotation, but that would be a long-shot.

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