Chris Smith is a 28-year-old right-handed pitcher. He isn’t the 35-year-old, right-handed pitcher Chris Smith who pitched for the A’s last year.
Chris was added to the Jays 40-man roster on September 27th, last year and was called up to the Jays but he didn’t appear in a game.
He played in Independent baseball from 2010 to 2012. Apparently, he signed a zero dollar contract to play for an Independent league team. He also pitched in Brisbane, Australia. The Yankees signed him in 2013. He ended up with a forearm stress fracture that kept him from playing for the 2013 season.
He played in the Yankee’s system for 2014 and most of 2015, with the Jays picking him up at the end of the 2015 season.
Smith has had good numbers in the minors. In 3 minor league seasons, he has a 2.30 ERA in 110 games. 164.2 innings, he’s given up 122 hits, 45 walks with 187 strikeouts.
Last year he pitched in New Hampshire (plus 4 games in Buffalo). He had a 1.93 ERA, in 47 games, 60.2 innings, 46 hits, 22 walks and 81 strikeouts. Numbers like that get you noticed.
I really don’t know much about him other than he throws hard. He can hit 98 and has a slider.
He pitched in 5 spring games. In 4.2 innings, he allowed 5 hits, 2 earned, 1 home run, 4 walks and 5 strikeouts.
He’s interesting, not many guys go from the independent leagues to having a good chance at pitching in the majors. Chris has all his options left, so I’m sure that, if he continues to pitch well, we’ll see him up in Toronto at some point. And likely back and forth a few times.