Drew Smyly was acquired by the Mariners only two months ago back on January 11th. Within that time and the first two weeks of this spring training, Smyly has really opened the eyes of the M’s coaches and fans.
According to Mariners GM, Jerry Dipoto, Smyly was their #1 trade target this offseason.
After the exit of Taijuan Walker, there was a need for another starting pitcher to complement the likes of Felix Hernandez, James Paxton, Hisashi Iwakuma and Yovani Gallardo. In his spring starts, Smyly has shown why Dipoto wanted him so badly.
The veteran lefty has been very impressive in his two games started for the M’s. He has thrown five innings, allowing only one hit and striking out five. He has only walked two batters.
When I asked Mariners MLB.com beat writer, Greg Johns, about what Smyly has done thus far, he had this to say about the lefty:
"“He looked very sharp early in camp and pitched well in his first two starts, but is now gone to compete with Team USA in the WBC. Certainly looked good before he left though.”"
Can Smyly Take On The world?
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Smyly is in the Designated Pitchers Pool for Team USA in the WBC. Since they’ve advanced to the second round of the tournament, he will likely get a start for one of those games.
Team USA’s starting pitchers Chris Archer, Marcus Stroman and Danny Duffy have combined to go 12.2 innings. They have yet to allow a run in their three games.
Considering how Smyly has pitched as of late, there is no reason to think he can’t contribute to Team USA’s starting pitchers’ success.
Since there is a strict limit for pitchers in the WBC, Mariners fans probably won’t see much of Smyly, which isn’t a bad thing because the Mariners are going to need him to be fresh for the upcoming season.
If he can pitch like he has been this year, then playoff baseball could finally return to the Pacific Northwest for the first time in almost 16 years.