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.”