The first piece of the Bobby Abreu trade suits up for the Phillies tonight, as the team recalled lefty reliever Matt Smith from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in advance of their weekend series against the Mets at Shea Stadium. Brian Sanches was optioned to make room for Smith, though it's probably a safe bet that Sanches will be back when rosters expand a week from today. The 28 year-old righty pitched to a 6.38 ERA with the Phillies, despite striking out 19 in 18.1 innings.
Smith has performed well at both AAA and in the majors this year, throwing 12 scoreless innings for the Yankees earlier in the summer and putting up a combined 2.06 ERA between Scranton and Columbus. Though Smith becomes the fourth left-hander in the bullpen, joining Arthur Rhodes, Aaron Fultz and Fabio Castro, the Phils are likely to use him as a true lefty specialist: for the Red Barons, Smith allowed just one hit in 4 IP vs. lefties. Interestingly, though, he picked up 4 saves in just 9 games with Scranton, raising at least some possibility that he could figure into Charlie Manuel's late-inning mix.