Drew Smyly Better The 2nd Time Around

It’s still too early in the 2012 season to say definitively that the Tigers may have found themselves a 5th starter, but the early returns so far are encouraging. After getting through 4 innings in his first start, mostly battling his command, Smyly got through 6 innings on Tuesday night giving up just one unearned run. On the season, the Tigers rookie left-hander has given up just one earned run 10 innings of baseball for an ERA of 0.90.

The biggest improvement was in Smyly’s command, walking just one batter in his second outing compared to three in his first. Obviously, nerves were a factor in the first game, as evidenced by his first inning struggles, but since then Smyly has shown poise beyond someone who had just one year of minor league baseball under his belt.

Smyly, who isn’t known for his raw stuff, flashed a mid 90′s fastball on occasion against the Royals on Tuesday night, working both sides of the plate while keeping the Royals offense off balance. He did allow 7 hits, and there is no doubt going to be some games where he gets hit around a bit. His next opponent, the Texas Rangers, are going to be a huge test for him. Right now though, Tigers fans and the front office couldn’t ask for anything better.

It’s been quite some time since the Tigers have been comfortable with their 5th starter, certainly last season wasn’t a lot of fun with Brad Penny getting hit around regularly. But as fans, we should be cautious of too much praise to quickly. We have seen some rookies get off to good starts before. Sometimes it just takes the league a little bit of time to catch up, and sometimes its just the teams that Smyly might be facing.

Either way, in the first 11 games of the season, it’s one of Detroit’s feel good stories going so far.

Let’s just hope it continues…..

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Tags: Brad Penny Drew Smyly

  • valordesign

    I was hoping there would be a write up about Smyly. For a while now, I’ve thought he has been underrated. All he has done is put up great numbers where ever he has pitched yet scouts all seem to regard him as having a #5 ceiling and he was left off of almost all top 100 prospects list. I don’t see him as being that far off of Pomeranz, a fellow lefty SEC pitcher who is only slightly younger with comparable numbers, but yet is near the top 20 to 30 in most prospect lists.
    Also, most Tiger fans don’t seem to be getting as excited as they should for him. If he does keep up his performance as he has, which as you mentioned is no sure thing, the Tigers rotation, with most of the staff locked up for the next few years and Turner waiting in the wings, will be set for years to come. How he handles that ridiculous Texas lineup is indeed going to be interesting.

    • MCBjohnverburg

       @valordesign I’m personally not waiting on Turner. I don’t know why, but I just don’t have that warm fuzzy feeling about him right now. I was on record for being in favor of moving him in Gonzalez or Garza deals if the Tigers could. We shall see.
      Smyly has certainly done better than what I had thought he could when he was drafted.

  • jgorosh

    Smyly has been as advertised. If Turner can be a producer, it gives the TIgers plenty of flexibility to move an arm (Scherz) currently in the rotation.