Smith activated, Sipp demoted
It’s been an eventful year for Indians right-hander Joe Smith, for all the wrong reasons. But Smith had good news Tuesday.
The Indians activated Smith from the 15-day disabled list after a brief Minor League rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus. Smith, recovering from a strained right rotator cuff, threw five scoreless innings for the Clippers. He gave up just four hits and a walk with six strikeouts.
To make room for Smith on the active roster and in the ‘pen, the Indians optioned left-hander Tony Sipp back down to Columbus for the second time in the past month. In two stints with the Tribe, Sipp went 0-0 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 games, walking 10 and striking out 10 in 8 2/3 innings.
When the Indians acquired Smith from the Mets as part of a three-team, 12-player trade during the Winter Meetings, they had hoped he’d become a key setup man in the back end of their ‘pen. But early in Spring Training camp, he was held back because of a viral infection. He never really got on track after that. Once the regular season began, he went 0-0 with a 7.11 ERA in eight games.
Smith went on the DL on April 29, and it was expected to be a short stay. The Indians figured to use the DL move as a way to give Smith time in the Minors to make up for the time he missed in spring camp. But a setback with the shoulder lengthened his stay.