R-Fightins get veteran LHP for the rotation

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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