The Rockies have selected the contract of right-hander Chad Smith, The Denver Gazette’s Danielle Allentuck reports (Twitter links). In corresponding moves, left-hander Helcris Olivarez was moved to the 60-day injured list due to a shoulder strain, while righty Ashton Goudeau was optioned to Triple-A. Goudeau’s transaction is just an on-paper move, however, as Allentuck notes that Goudeau will act as the 27th man for the Rockies’ doubleheader with the Nationals today.
Not to be confused with the Chad Smith who used to pitch with the Tigers and Athletics, this Smith was an 11th-round pick for the Marlins in the 2016 draft, and was acquired by the Rockies in exchange for Jesus Tinoco back in August 2020. Just a few days shy of his 27th birthday, Smith is now set to make his Major League debut.
Over two seasons with Triple-A Albuquerque, Smith has an impressive 2.58 ERA and 28.9% strikeout rate over 52 1/3 relief innings in 2021-22. After battling control problems for much of his pro career, Smith has shown very good improvement this season with only a 6.9% walk rate over his 19 frames of work. If Smith has been able to harness his command, he could be a very intriguing reliever to watch, given his velocity, ability to miss bats, and his ability to induce grounders (averaging over a 60% groundball rate during his minor league career).