Drew Smyly
Drew Smyly
29-Year-Old PitcherRP
Chicago Cubs
60-Day DL
Injury Elbow
Est. Return 3/1/2019
2018 Fantasy Outlook
A strong showing last spring -- which he split between the Mariners and Team USA in the WBC -- signaled that Smyly was ready to bounce back from a poor 2016 season, but an elbow injury suffered in late March prevented him from being ready for the start of the season. His season was ultimately over for good when it was decided he would need Tommy John surgery in June. Smyly will not be ready to return until the middle of the 2018 season at the earliest, and it's possible he could miss the entire year. His respectable career marks of a 3.74 ERA and 8.7 K/9 make him worth holding onto in deep keeper leagues, but it's a long shot that he will pay off as a long-term stash in single-season leagues in 2018. The Cubs signed him to a two-year deal in December, likely banking on his Year 2 contributions with the club once he's completely healthy again. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $6.85 million contract with the Mariners in January of 2017, avoiding arbitration.
Shut down for season
PChicago Cubs
Elbow
September 10, 2018
Smyly (elbow) will not return this season, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Smyly was looking like he had a shot to return to the big-league bullpen before the end of the season, but the team evidently felt like he wouldn't have time to be fully ready, so he's been shut down for the year. He'll wind up having missed a full year and a half after undergoing Tommy John surgery back in June of 2017, but he should be ready to pitch from the start of the 2019 season.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-5%
BAA vs LHP
2018
No Stats
2017
No Stats
2016
 
 
-5%
BAA vs LHP
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2016vs Left .250 145 39 4 34 6 0 7
Since 2016vs Right .262 593 128 45 140 28 1 25
2018vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016vs Left .250 145 39 4 34 6 0 7
2016vs Right .262 593 128 45 140 28 1 25
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2016
 
 
-22%
ERA at Home
2018
No Stats
2017
No Stats
2016
 
 
-22%
ERA at Home
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2016Home 4.27 1.06 84.1 3 6 0 9.2 2.5 1.7
Since 2016Away 5.44 1.47 91.0 4 6 0 8.0 2.6 1.6
2018Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2018Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016Home 4.27 1.06 84.1 3 6 0 9.2 2.5 1.7
2016Away 5.44 1.47 91.0 4 6 0 8.0 2.6 1.6
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
The 27-year-old left-hander managed to stay healthy but struggled through the majority of the 2016 campaign. His first half of the season was particularly poor, with Smyly tallying just a pair of victories against 10 losses to go along with a 5.47 ERA. He rebounded in the second half to forge a 5-2 record and generate a more respectable 4.08 ERA, but still saw a significant drop in his K/9 and the home runs have become a major issue at this point (43 allowed in 242 innings over the past two seasons). There was no accompanying rise in BABIP to blame for his struggles in 2016, as that figure remained at a reasonable .291. A full offseason of rest will create further distance from the shoulder problems and he's relatively safe in his role even after a trade to Seattle, but Smyly remains a risk in the ratio categories.
After a pair of DL stints and just 66.2 innings pitched in 2015, Smyly is officially an injury risk who is more potential than performance at this point. He has spent some time in the bullpen so we can't just judge him strictly on the innings, but four DL stints, major shoulder issues in 2015, and a max of 153 innings as a big leaguer all ding his reliability, especially at 27 years old now. There is still a lot to like when he does pitch, including the strikeout surge from last season. He needed an 87 percent strand rate to limit the damage of a 1.5 HR/9 rate, but both were career outliers and should be expected to regress. His fastball has experienced a four percent jump in swinging-strike rate with Tampa Bay and the key difference has been elevating it. The pitch has been instrumental in cutting his platoon split with righties posting a .641 OPS against him with Tampa Bay, down from .799 with Detroit. Intriguing skills, but the health history has to temper expectations.
At the trade deadline, Smyly was 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and had struck out 20 percent of the batters he faced. He was then shipped to Tampa Bay as part of the David Price deal and things took a different course. He made seven starts for the Rays and posted a 1.70 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, and struck out 25 percent of the batters he faced. The amazing part is the Rays barely made a tweak to his mechanics as they typically do not like doing many changes during a season. Smyly increased the strikeouts with sequencing more than a new pitch, and there is a very good chance the team teaches him a changeup this offseason as every pitcher within the organization is encouraged to throw the pitch. There is some concern with Smyly since his innings total jumped from 76 to 153 last season, which is why the team shut him down in early September. He will not come at a discount in 2015.
After working as a starting pitcher and reliever for Detroit in 2012, Smyly was moved to a full-time role in the bullpen last season. The 25-year-old lefty excelled in his new role, finishing 6-0 with a 2.37 ERA and a 1.04 WHIP in 63 appearances. He improved both his strikeout rate (9.6 K/9), walk rate (2.0 BB/9) and limited the long ball (0.5 HR/9). The young southpaw was lights-out against left-handed hitters (.189 BAA), but he also limited right-handed hitters to a .242/.374/.293 line, proving that he’s far more than a situational pitcher. Originally a starter, Smyly has a steady five-pitch arsenal at his disposal. His fastball usually sits in the 90-92 mph range. He also mixes in a curveball with plus-pitch upside, a cutter and a changeup that needs some work. While none of his pitches are dominant, Smyly does a great job locating and keeping hitters off balance. The Tigers traded Doug Fister to the Nationals in December, opening the door for Smyly to take a permanent spot in the rotation and making him an excellent sleeper for 2014.
Smyly was an early-season surprise in 2012, as he earned the No. 5 spot in the rotation out of spring training. The 23-year-old lefty got off to a great start in April, posting a 1.23 ERA and 22:8 K:BB in 22 innings, but his performance dropped off in May and he eventually lost a spot in the rotation when Detroit acquired Anibal Sanchez in a midseason deal. Despite the up-and-down season, there was plenty to like with Smyly. He aptly mixed in a low-90s fastball with an effective slider to post a 3.99 ERA while striking out nearly one hitter per inning (8.5 K/9). The big question mark with Smyly is whether or not he can earn a spot in the Opening Day rotation again. With the Tigers' decision to re-sign Sanchez, Smyly will be left battling out for a rotation spot with Rick Porcello, who would likely hold the edge. Keep a close eye on Smyly's competition this spring, as he could be a decent rotation filler for mid-sized leagues.
Selected in the second round by the Tigers in 2010, Smyly has quickly moved up the team’s prospect list. He impressed during his first season in the minors, going 11-6 with a 2.07 ERA and 130:36 K:BB ratio while splitting time between High-A Lakeland and Double-A Erie. The 22-year-old southpaw’s two best pitches are a sinking 89-92 mph fastball and a mid-80s cutter. He also mixes in a curveball and change-up but needs to refine both pitches. Unless the Tigers go out and sign a proven veteran prior to spring training, Smyly is expected to compete with fellow prospects Jacob Turner, Duane Below and Andy Oliver for the final spot in the rotation. Despite being named as part of the competition, Smyly is a long shot to earn a place on the Opening Day roster, but he could see his first cup of coffee in the big leagues in 2012 if he shows continued success in the upper levels of the minors. He’s worth keeping an eye on in keeper leagues.
More Fantasy News
Tosses successful sim game
PChicago Cubs
Elbow
September 4, 2018
Smyly (elbow) threw a successful 23-pitch simulated game Tuesday, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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To begin rehab assignment Thursday
PChicago Cubs
Elbow
August 29, 2018
Smyly (elbow) will pitch one inning during a rehab assignment Thursday with Low-A South Bend, Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago reports.
ANALYSIS
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Throws another simulated game
PChicago Cubs
Elbow
August 27, 2018
Smyly (elbow) tossed a simulated game Sunday, Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Tosses simulated game
PChicago Cubs
Elbow
August 2, 2018
Smyly (elbow) threw another simulated game Thursday, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Pair of sim games scheduled
PChicago Cubs
Elbow
July 21, 2018
Smyly (elbow) is scheduled to throw a simulated game Sunday and a second one July 26, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
ANALYSIS
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