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A’s set post-break rotation; what about Chris Smith?

SEATTLE — Oakland’s rotation coming out of the All-Star break will start, not surprisingly, with Sonny Gray. Gray, who last started Wednesday against the White Sox, will be working on eight days of rest when he faces Cleveland on Friday night at the Coliseum. The following two starts aren’t officially scheduled, but it’s likely that Daniel Gossett, who started Sunday in Seattle, will work the first game of the Tampa Bay series at the Coliseum, followed by Jharel Cotton. [...] what of Chris Smith, who had a nice outing Saturday in his first-ever big-league start? The 36-year-old is likely to stick around in long relief and to be available in the event Cotton can’t return from a split callus on his right hand as soon as hoped. There are many reasons to keep Smith, among them the fact that he pitched well Saturday against a good lineup, allowing three runs in six innings. The Mariners’Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz went a combined 0-for-5 with a walk and a double-play grounder. [...] Smith’s age and experience are a plus for a largely young pitching staff that is likely to get even younger this month, with reliever Ryan Madson likely to get dealt to a contender before the deadline. Chris Smith’s even-keel temperament might make him better suited to the role than some of the younger pitchers Oakland has used there, and he was excellent in something of a mop-up relief role when with Oakland last year, with a 2.92 ERA. First baseman Yonder Alonso, his wife, Amber, and son, Troy, are getting to Tuesday’s game in Miami via chartered jet, traveling with Seattle All-Star outfielder Nelson Cruz and his family.

Article by By Susan Slusser (c) Top Sports Stories RSS Feed - Read full story here.