When Toronto Blue Jays added right-hander Chris Smith to its roster Wednesday the record number of former independent players to wear a major league uniform during the regular season climbed to 45. That is four more than the previous high established two years ago, according to records maintained by IndyBaseballChatter.com.
Yes, two of the 45 are named Chris Smith and both are righties. The other Smith is with Oakland A's. Toronto’s Smith, a 28-year-old native of Louisville, started his professional career in the Frontier League in 2010. He is the second pitcher who threw his first professional pitch in a non-major-league-affiliated circuit to reach the majors in recent weeks. The other is Boston lefty Robby Scott.