06/23/09 10:00 PM ET
Tracy opts to go with Smith's hot bat
Rockies skipper gives nod to outfielder after career night
By Quinn Roberts / MLB.com
After Monday night's game, in which he had a career-high four RBIs in an 11-1 waxing of the Angels as the Rockies' designated hitter, Smith's latest numbers have caught manager Jim Tracy's attention.So much so that Tracy penciled Smith in left field for Tuesday night's game at Angel Stadium, wanting to keep his hot left-handed bat in the lineup. "He has done a terrific job," Tracy said. "With some left-handed pitchers coming up in the next few games, now is a great opportunity to get him a few more at bats." "You can't ignore what you saw last night, and you can't ignore what you have been seeing off the bench." Smith, who usually splits time between pinch-hitting and left field has shown what a solid weapon he can be no matter where Tracy places him on the team. As a pinch-hitter this season, Smith has an average of .455 with 10 hits and four RBIs in 22 at-bats. June has also been a kind month to Smith, who in 39 plate appearances has 14 hits, a .400 average. "As a pinch-hitter you really have to be aware of what is happening in the game," Smith said. "It is just a matter of being able to assess the situation and hit accordingly." Smith's strong showing on Monday also came after his second time as the Rockies designated hitter this season. "It is pretty relaxing to be the designated hitter," Smith said. "You just have to be ready for when you come up again and just be ready for the at-bat. I like hitting, so it suits me well."
Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.