Smith went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run and a walk in a loss to the Red Sox on Sunday.
The veteran backstop gave fellow catcher Michael Perez a breather Sunday and made good use of the opportunity, slugging a 426-foot shot to left field with Willy Adames aboard in the fourth. Smith has now appeared in seven September games (five starts) while helping out behind the dish in the absence of Mike Zunino (oblique), but he could well head back to the alternate training site in Port Charlotte once the latter jumps back into action.
Smith, who was just recalled from the Rays' alternate training site on Saturday, went 1-for-3 with an RBI fielder's choice, a double and two walks in a win over the Marlins on Sunday.
Smith made some noise out of the bottom of the order in his first taste of major-league action since Aug. 8. The veteran backstop is up from the alternate training site due to the oblique issue that landed Mike Zunino on the injured list, so he should see some solid playing time for the next 10 days at minimum while splitting catching duties with Michael Perez.
Smith was called up from the Rays' alternate training site Saturday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
Smith along with Brian O'Grady were called up when Ryan Yarbrough (groin) and Mike Zunino (oblique) were placed on the 10-day injured list. Smith is 1-for-1 with a walk and two RBI this season and figures to share catching duties with Michael Perez while Zunino is on the shelf.
Smith has rejoined workouts at the Rays' alternate training site in Port Charlotte after being outrighted there Wednesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Manager Kevin Cash has previously stated it's a luxury to have a proven veteran backstop that can also hit like Smith on call, so the Rays were certainly glad the 32-year-old accepted his outright assignment and remains with the organization, particularly with Mike Zunino sporting an .095/.208/.262 line through his first 48 plate appearances.
Smith cleared waivers and was outrighted to the Rays' alternate training site Wednesday, Steve Carney of Sports Radio 620 WDAE reports.
Smith appeared in four games for the Rays this season, grabbing a single and a walk in his only two trips to the plate. He could be back with the Rays if they need a third catcher at some point later in the year.
The Rays designated Smith for assignment prior to Sunday's game against the Yankees, Neil Solondz of the Rays Radio Network reports.
Smith's removal from the 40-man roster and 28-man active roster clears a spot for reliever John Curtiss, whose contract was selected in a corresponding move. The Rays' No. 3 catcher had appeared in four games for the big club, recording a base hit in his lone at-bat.
Smith, who delivered a two-run pinch-hit single in the second game of a doubleheader against the Yankees on Saturday, has logged just two plate appearances and appeared in four games this season.
The veteran backstop remains firmly behind Mike Zunino and Michael Perez on the depth chart, relegating him to just four in-game appearances thus far. Smith also spent time on the COVID-19 injured list for 24 hours last weekend as a precaution after displaying some minor virus symptoms, but he quickly produced two negative tests to clear the protocol. Despite his inactivity, Smith serves as solid insurance at catcher, given he's been a serviceable hitter in past stops and Zunino continues to struggle with a .100/.206/.233 line entering Sunday's action.
The Rays activated Smith from the COVID-19 injured list Sunday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
Though he never tested positive for the coronavirus, Smith was moved to the injured list Saturday after having recently displayed symptoms consistent with the illness. After Smith submitted two negative test results conducted 24 hours apart, MLB deemed the backstop eligible to return, and the Rays wasted no time reinstating him. He won't be in the lineup for Sunday's series finale against the Orioles but will be available off the bench behind top backstop Mike Zunino.
Smith was placed on the COVID-19 injured list Saturday, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
Smith tested negative for COVID-19 but was displaying minor symptoms, so he'll be sidelined as a precautionary measure. The 32-year-old will be eligible to return to the team if he produces a second consecutive negative test. Second baseman Daniel Robertson was recalled by the Rays in a corresponding move.
Smith was added to the Rays' 40-man roster Tuesday, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
Smith has been competing for the third-catcher spot throughout camp, and he was added to the 40-man roster after Colin Poche (elbow) was placed on the 45-day injured list. The 32-year-old will begin the season behind Mike Zunino and Michael Perez, per Juan Toribio of MLB.com.
Smith hit a home run off Colin Poche in Thursday's simulated game, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
The backup catcher's round tripper is noteworthy -- even though it came in a sim game -- considering he's in a tight competition with Chris Herrmann for what could be a third catcher job. Smith's solid body of work as a hitter over the last three major-league seasons is one of the principal reasons he's considered a serious contender to stick on an expanded Opening Day roster, but the decision may came down to the wire with Herrmann also impressing thus far.
Smith has been transferred to the Rays' secondary summer camp site in Port Charlotte, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.
The veteran catcher was in the thick of a competition with Chris Herrmann for a spot when spring training was suspended, and the possibility exists the Rays carry three catchers with rosters expanded to 30 players to open the regular season. Smith's shift to Port Charlotte doesn't signify anything with respect to his chances, as the team is labeling his and Herrmann's move to that location as a way to 'better distribute the workload" between the two camp sites.
Smith is part of the 60-man player pool that will report to the Rays' summer camp, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
The veteran backstop will have the opportunity to resume his battle with Chris Herrmann for a potential third catcher role behind Mike Zunino and Michael Perez. The fact rosters will be expanded for the first four weeks of the season could mean manager Kevin Cash won't have to make what was shaping up as a difficult decision at backstop, but the three-plus weeks of summer camp should help shake things out further.
Smith's offensive skills could give him an upper hand in the backup catcher job battle, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
Smith is battling Michael Perez and Chris Herrmann to slot in behind starting backstop Mike Zunino. Smith is the only right-handed hitter among the trio -- perhaps not an asset for a job behind the right-handed hitting Zunino -- but he's also coming off a 2019 season with the Angels during which he posted career highs in exit velocity (89.4 mph) and expected batting average (.294). While Smith's average slumped to a still-serviceable .251 last season, it's worth noting he'd generated much stronger .283 and .292 figures in that category in 2017 and 2018, respectively. On the other hand, Perez is the only one of the three candidates on the 40-man roster already, giving Smith a tougher hill to climb to win the spot. The 31-year-old was hitting .263 (5-for-19) with four RBI and five runs across nine Grapefruit League games before spring training was suspended.
Smith has a solid chance of securing the backup catching job this spring, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports. "[Kevan's] got major-league reps," said Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash. "He's caught for the White Sox, for the Angels. It's nice to have a guy that has enough under his belt and is confident enough to kind of been there, done that, through other camps."
Mike Zunino appears to have a relatively secure grasp on the top backstop job to open the season, but after seeing Travis d'Arnaud head to Atlanta in free agency this offseason, the Rays are looking for a reliable No. 2 option with some experience. Smith fits the bill on both counts, and he brings the added bonus of a solid bat that's helped lead to a career .272/.318/.381 line across 707 plate appearances. The 31-year-old has competition for the backup role in the form of incumbent Michael Perez and non-roster invitee Chris Herrmann, but Smith may have the inside track if he demonstrates sufficient improvement on the defensive side and masters the team's pitching staff this spring.
Smith signed a minor-league contract with the Rays on Monday as a non-roster invitee, Juan Toribio of MLB.com reports.
Smith was non-tendered by the Angels in early December, but he'll settle for a minor-league contract after appearing primarily in the majors over the past two seasons. The 31-year-old hit .251/.318/.393 with five home runs and 20 RBI over 67 games in 2019 as he served as a backup for the Halos. While his past experience could allow him to serve as depth in the majors at some point in 2020, Smith's production will need to rebound if he hopes to have an impact in the big leagues.
Smith was non-tendered by the Angels on Monday, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports.
Smith spent just one season with the Angels, slashing .251/.318/.393 with five homers, 20 RBI and a -0.2 WAR in 2019. He's likely headed for a backup role following his departure from Los Angeles.
Smith is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Astros, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
Smith will sit out the season finale in what amounts to a routine breather for the day game after a night game. Anthony Bemboom will check in behind the plate while Smith wraps up the 2019 campaign with a .251/.318/.393 slash line across 211 plate appearances.
Smith isn't in the starting lineup for Friday's game against the Astros.
Smith will head to the bench after picking up a pair of RBI in Thursday's series opener. Anthony Bemboom is set to handle the catching duties and hit ninth.
Smith is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Athletics.
Smith has started five of the past six games behind the dish, going 6-for-21 (.286) with a home run and four RBI. Anthony Bemboom is starting at backstop and hitting ninth in this one.
|Last 7 Games|
|09/27||vs PHI||W 5-0||4||1||2||0||1||0||0|
|09/22||@ NYM||L 2-5||1||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|09/20||@ BAL||L 1-2||4||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|09/17||vs BAL||W 10-6||3||0||1||0||1||0||0|
|09/16||vs WAS||L 2-4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|09/15||vs WAS||W 6-1||4||0||1||0||1||0||0|
|09/13||vs BOS||L 3-6||3||1||1||1||2||1||0|
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2011||R-Bristol White Sox||26||96||24||38||10||1||7||32||14||14||1||2||.396||.482||.740|
|2011||R-Great Falls Voyagers||30||107||22||34||12||2||2||16||14||16||1||0||.318||.417||.523|
|2016||R-AZL White Sox||2||5||2||1||0||0||1||2||2||2||0||0||.200||.429||.800|