Greg Smith making glowing second impression

Rockies left-hander Greg Smith had his second head-turning appearance of the spring on Tuesday. He struck out three in three innings of a 12-0 victory over the Dodgers at Glendale, Ariz.

Smith not only is showing he is crafty, with his fastball and changeup — his out pitch on Tuesday. He’s also making strides toward demonstrating that the team can count on him.

Smith was injured and sick last spring, and shoulder and back issues kept him out of the Majors last year. Yes, he was durable with the Athletics in 2008, throwing 191 1/3 innings. But one of his main goals this spring was for the Rockies, who acquired him in the Matt Holliday trade, to see that dependability for themselves.

“I want to erase all that from last year,” Smith said. “Yes, I’m going to throw. You don’t have to worry about, ‘Is he going to make his next two starts.’ Just go ahead and trust the fact that I’m going to be out there.

“I’m trying to get through all that and give them a new impression.”

Manager Jim Tracy was more impressed with Smith on Tuesday than he was Friday, when he threw two scoreless innings against the Angels. Tracy especially liked the changeup.

“He was repeating the pitch and still getting swings and misses,” Tracy said.

The Rockies have five capable starters, plus more-experienced right-hander Tim Redding in camp under a Minor League contract, and Smith can be sent to Triple-A Colorado Springs without being exposed to other teams through waivers. There’s always the possibility that instead of keeping him in Colorado Springs in case of emergency, the Rockies could use Smith out of the bullpen.

Tracy, who knows injuries can happen, isn’t ruling out anything.

“We’ve got to wait and see,” Tracy said. “I’m anxious to see what the sequel is to what we saw today. What does it look like next time? Can he repeat this?”

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