The Oakland Athletics have called up right-handed reliever Chad Smith and optioned Ryan Cook to Triple-A Nashville. Smith was already on the 40-man roster, so no 40-man roster change is required. With Smith's call up, the A's have had on the active roster every non-injured pitcher currently on the club's 40-man roster.
Cook's demotion comes on the heels of his third consecutive performance where he conceded an earned run. The most galling aspect of Saturday's one inning performance plus three batters was that, with a runner on second, Cook could only throw one strike to two consecutive batters trying to hand him an out via the sacrifice bunt. Cook exited that contest with nobody out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th, and his 10.38 ERA in 4⅓ innings would probably be even worse but for the game ending on the winning run.
The A's selected Chad Smith off waivers from the Detroit Tigers early in spring training after reliever Taylor Thompson was placed on the 60-day disabled list with a shoulder strain. I'm going to link to the article about the A's claiming him so you can laugh at me when I write about our "roster filled with outstanding bullpen candidates" and denigrating Evan Scribner.
Smith brings a fastball-sinker-slider combination to the bullpen. Pitch f/x recorded the fastball as a tick above 94 and the sinker as a tick below 94. The slider was good enough to strike out Nick Swisher during Smith's debut last year:
Smith says that he has added a changeup to his repertoire this year:
Chad Smith says he's been working a lot on his changeup and slider to go along with his sinker, has confidence in both of those now.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) May 3, 2015
In 2014, Smith pitched 11⅔ MLB innings, striking out nine and walking three while giving up one home run. He had a 5.40 ERA. In Triple-A Toledo, Smith struck out 22 and walked five with Triple-A Toledo over 27 innings with a 5.00 ERA.
This year with Triple-A Nashville, Smith has struck out seven but walked five, and has a 2.31 ERA in 11⅔ innings.