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07/09/08 9:00 PM ET
Smith returns to Rockies after injury
Outfielder gives club additional flexibility on field, bench
By Dave Fultz / MLB.com
MILWAUKEE -- Minor League outfielder Seth Smith was recalled from Triple-A on Wednesday to fill the hole left by an oblique injury that sent Ryan Spilborghs to the 15-day disabled list. Smith will be in uniform for Wednesday night's game against the Brewers. Smith was sent down when the Rockies called up infielder Jayson Nix on Tuesday, but he didn't even board a plane before Colorado called on him again. Nix was called up by the big club to give manager Clint Hurdle more infield flexibility after a wrist injury to Jeff Baker. But now that Spilborghs will be out at least 15 days, there is a spot for Smith on the roster. "[Smith] was here and he was the guy we picked originally, and now there's an outfield fit that is more comfortable for the team and for the bench than there was before now," Hurdle said. Smith's bat will certainly be a welcome addition to the Rockies lineup. In 68 games at Triple-A Colorado Springs, Smith hit .323 with 10 home runs and 53 runs batted in, reaching base at an impressive .424 clip. Spilborghs went down with a left oblique strain during Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Brewers. The outfielder -- who has hit .314 with six home runs and 33 RBIs in 72 games this season -- felt a sharp pain in his side when he was running the bases in the sixth inning. "I felt like I got shot between first and second," Spilborghs said. "I was looking for someone to tag, so they could keep running for me, maybe pass the baton or something. That was miserable, I think it hurt more that I couldn't score and get the game tied." So, with the injury to Spilborghs, Smith may get an extended opportunity to show Hurdle what he can do, as an oblique strain tends to be an injury that lingers. He has hit .256 with a homer and three RBIs in 13 games with the Rockies in 2008. "There's always an 'injury of a decade,'" Hurdle said. "We had rotator cuffs there for awhile and it seems to be obliques now. It's just really crazy how it runs in cycles. "It's not an injury too many guys come back quickly from."
Dave Fultz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.