His role with the Rockies still unsettled, Smith was impressive over five innings Friday as Colorado beat the Oakland Athletics 10-4.Smith gave up three hits and a run while striking out six and walking one. He could end up starting in Triple-A Colorado Springs or coming out of the bullpen because closer Huston Street will start the season on the disabled list because of right shoulder inflammation."I don't think about that kind of stuff," Smith said. "I don't read the articles. I don't ask questions. I'm whatever they tell me, whenever they tell me. I'm not looking ahead, looking behind, that kind of thing."The Rockies rotation seems set for the start of the season with Ubaldo Jimenez, Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook, Jorge De La Rosa and Jason Hammel. But the bullpen is somewhat unsettled. Left-hander Franklin Morales likely will move into Street's role.Randy Flores, the other left-hander in the bullpen, is a specialist who rarely pitches a full inning. He was hit with a line drive on the left forearm Wednesday and is waiting for the swelling and soreness to subside.Flores is expected to start the regular season, but ideally the Rockies would like to have a second left-hander, one capable of pitching multiple innings, to go with Flores and help get the game to Morales.In four games this spring, Smith has a 1.93 ERA, allowing 12 hits and three runs in 14 innings with six walks and 14 strikeouts.The Rockies broke a 1-all tie with a three-run sixth that included a two-run double by Melvin Mora, who scored on a two-out double by Jordan Pacheco.Smith, who pitched 190 1/3 innings for the A's as a rookie in 2008, was acquired in November '08 along with Street and outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for outfielder Matt Holliday. An assortment of ailments limited Smith to 49 1/3 innings last year.He added about 15 pounds over the winter with a protein-rich diet and at 201 pounds said he "feels more durable on the mound than I ever have."Smith picked Gabe Gross off first base in the second, his third pickoff of the spring.Smith said no one has spoken with him about the possibility of relieving at the outset of this season."My next step is workout tomorrow as a starter," Smith said. "I'm not going to change any game plans and start speculating, 'What if?' until they come to me and say, 'This is what we need you to do."A's starter Trevor Cahill allowed five hits and one run in five innings, throwing 68 pitches -- 45 strikes -- in his longest outing of the spring."I felt a lot better the third, fourth and fifth inning," Cahill said, "which is good because I'm just getting my strength up."
An MRI showed Street has no structural damage in his right shoulder and is dealing with a recurrence of inflammation. Street, who will open the regular season on the disabled list and won't pitch in a Cactus League game, had the MRI on Wednesday. He felt tightness in the shoulder Tuesday, one day after throwing 25 pitches in a simulated game. Street initially felt shoulder tightness on Feb. 27, a day after throwing batting practice for the first time this spring. ... Rockies reliever Manuel Corpas gave up a two-out homer to Daric Barton. Corpas has allowed six earned runs in 7 1/3 innings in seven games for a 7.36 ERA. ... Jimenez pitched in a minor league camp game for the Rockies Double-A team against the Triple-A squad. He allowed seven hits and two runs in 4 1/3 innings with no walks and one strikeout. ... Rockies reliever Taylor Buchholz threw batting practice for the first time since he underwent Tommy John surgery June 17. Buchholz threw 25 pitches, about six changeups and the rest fastballs. "It went about as good as I can possibly imagine right now," Buchholz said. "I felt under control out there and was able to throw strikes. I felt normal, which is about all I can ask for going out there the first time."