Smyly, who was selected in the second round of the draft by the Detroit Tigers in 2010, missed the entirety of the 2017 and 2018 seasons because of Tommy John surgery. He was traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Texas Rangers during the 2018/19 offseason for a player to be named later and was released by the Rangers on 25th June per Baseball Reference.
It’s fair to say Smyly had a rough time with the Rangers, posting an 8.42 ERA in nine starts and four bullpen appearances. An ugly six walks per nine didn’t help matters.
While the up and down Phillies have had their fair share of rotation problems, Smyly is an obvious risk after his performances in the first part of this season. This is a project for the Phillies, and one that may not last too long unless he can figure stuff out quickly.
Vince Velasquez may well be heading to the bullpen, handing his rotation spot to Smyly. Jake Arrieta and Nick Pivetta have both had testing seasons too, however, and the Phillies face an uphill task to construct a competitive rotation before the 31st July trade deadline. The Phillies are currently half-a-game back on the second National League Wildcard spot in what could be a thrilling race in the second half of the season. Getting Smyly back to somewhere near his form from the first half of this decade would be huge for Gabe Kapler‘s club.
As it stands, Philadelphia are rolling the dice in four out of five of their games. The resurgence of Aaron Nola has been invaluable, but he’s in dire need of some help from his fellow starting pitchers. Smyly, you have to expect, will just be the start for Philadelphia, who could be in the trade market for starters like Mike Minor, Madison Bumgarner and Marcus Stroman.