June 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Tigers call up pitcher Chad Smith, designate Evan Reed for assignment

Evan Reed was 0-1 with a 4.88 ERA in 27 appearances this season, allowing 18 runs on 35 hits in 27.2 innings. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)

Detroit — With all the troubles the Tigers’ bullpen has been having, changes were inevitable. On Wednesday, the latest move came, with reliever Evan Reed designated for assignment and right-handed pitcher Chad Smith called up from Triple-A Toledo.

“Because of the last couple days, the bullpen is a little short and we need someone who can go a few innings just in case there’s another issue,” manager Brad Ausmus said Wednesday morning. “(Chad’s) not a guy who was on the radar in spring training but has pitched his way on the radar the first three months of the season.”

In 15 appearances, Smith, was 4-2 with a 1.64 earned-run average in 22 innings with the Mud Hens this season. He also pitched 13 innings in seven games at Double-A Erie and was 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA.

“We know he can go a few innings and he hasn’t pitched in a few days, which obviously is important in the situation we’re in today,” Ausmus said. “I don’t know a lot about him, so we’re going to have to find out about him on the fly.”

Smith, 24, was selected in the 17th round by the Tigers out of the University of Southern California in the 2011 draft. He was slow to start progressing in the Tigers’ system after being drafted, because of Tommy John surgery in 2011.

“I went back to school after the draft, got my degree and rehabbed with the Tigers,” he said.

But his climb was swift when it began.

“I didn’t think it would be this soon,” Smith said of being promoted to the majors. “I was just hoping, when the season began, not to be moved down from Double A.

“But it was clicking for me (at Toledo), I was feeling good, throwing the ball where I wanted it to go for the first time since surgery...

“And I’m here.”

Reed, 28, had struggled of late, with an 8.38 ERA over his last 10 games, which included outings in three of the last four games. He allowed an earned run in each game and a total of eight hits in 2.1 innings. In Monday’s loss to the Royals, he gave up four hits and an earned run and didn’t record an out.

He was accused but not charged with sexually assaulting a woman at Motor City Casino in Detroit in March. Ausmus, though, said the decision on Reed was “absolutely not” in relation to the accusation.

Tom Gage contributed.
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