Smith expected to go on bereavement list

Rookie lefty to be away for personal reasons; Marlins likely to be reinstated

June 14th, 2018

MIAMI -- Marlins left-hander , one of their more dependable starters, will be away from the club a few days for personal reasons. The rookie is attending a funeral.

The club plans on placing Smith on the MLB bereavement list, but that transaction has yet to be announced. It could come on Friday, before the Marlins open their Interleague series in Baltimore against the Orioles.

The pending roster move also increases the likelihood that Rule 5 Draft pick, right-hander , will be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. Graves suffered a left oblique strain in Spring Training, and he has been on the DL all season.

The Marlins still anticipate Smith making his next scheduled start, which is on Monday in San Francisco. By rule, players on the bereavement list are excused from the team for a maximum of three days.

Asked if Graves could be added when Smith is placed on the bereavement list, manager Don Mattingly said: "Conceivably."

Graves, 25, has been in Miami for the past few days, working out before the Marlins faced the Giants.

Graves is one of two Rule 5 picks selected by Miami last December. The other, , is currently pitching in relief. Graves was selected off of the A's roster, while Hernandez came to the Marlins from the Astros. Both have to stay on the 25-man roster or risk being offered back to their former clubs.

A starter most of his Minor League career, Graves has been groomed to throw in relief.

"We'll probably look at him as a reliever right now," Mattingly said.

Graves has spent the past few weeks building up on a rehab assignment. He's thrown 19 1/3 combined innings at Class A Advanced Jupiter and Double-A Jacksonville. The right-hander has made seven appearances (three starts), and his ERA is 5.59 with 17 strikeouts and seven walks.

Graves last threw for Double-A on Tuesday, logging two scoreless innings with one strikeout.

"He's been healthy," Mattingly said. "His first one had been pretty rough on the rehab circuit. But after that, he had been pretty good."

In a season where the Marlins are evaluating many young players, Graves will get a chance pitching out of the bullpen. He is a candidate to throw multiple innings. Graves was a third-round Draft pick by Oakland in 2014, and he has logged 381 1/3 Minor League innings, with 270 strikeouts and 120 walks.

Smith threw 6 1/3 innings on Wednesday night in Miami's 5-4 walk-off win over San Francisco.

Worth noting

• Right-hander Zack Leban, the Marlins' 12th-round pick in the 2018 Draft, has reached an agreement for $125,000, according to's Jim Callis. Selected out of the University of Kansas, Leban has a 96-mph fastball.