Leyland: We need to sort out Smyly’s role

Interesting comment from Jim Leyland last night after the announcement that Phil Coke will be activated from the disabled list for Saturday’s game. It wasn’t so much about Coke, whose role as a lefty specialist is pretty well set. Drew Smyly’s role, however, is not.

Smyly has done long relief (especially the first few weeks of the season) and he has done lefty specialist work (he helped the Tigers get by without their usually lefty setup guy the last couple weeks). His versatility has been his strength. In some ways, he has given the Tigers their version of what Alexi Ogando used to mean for the Tigers.

Leyland values that versatility a lot, but he also has to try to get Smyly a steady diet of innings.

“We really have to get a situation ironed out as far as Smyly is concerned,” Leyland said. “He’s doing a fantastic job, obviously. If you can have two of those lefties available each night, it’s a good thing, but I also want him to pitch. So it’s a little tricky.”

4 Comments

Neyer and almost everyone but for JL ,and a few Tigers fans thinking with their hearts think the same, with Smyly , the Tigers would have the best 1-5 rotation in MLB.
He is doing a great job in the pen? trading a starter for a reliever is a bad one even is the “trade” is internal.
Porcello perhaps will be a good reliever. He has not been a good starter after 2009. His ERA is average and his winning record just luck.

You watch Porcello pitch, you think he’s doing well, and yet there are opposition runs on the board. I don’t know. Perhaps he’s in a June or July trade.
Meanwhile, Smyly looks like he can handle any job you give him, including closer.

Smyly has been consistent, poised and disciplined so far. I too would like to see Drew in the rotation. Porcello just seems to have troubles going through the lineup the 2nd and definitely the 3rd time. That qualifies Rick as a reliever in my mind.
I would like to a change soon.

Or….Plan on pitching Drew 3 innings at a time for Verlander for a while and fill in as a reliever other nights. Seems to me Justin could use a little break from the massive load he’s carried over the years. I’d like to give him a break so that later in the year he’s still strong for the playoffs.
Or…a sixth starter for the next couple months.

Extending out our good starting staff could make them great in a potentially extended and long season.

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