Left-hander Drew Smyly split the 2014 season with the Detroit Tigers and Tampa Bay Rays, posting a 3.24 ERA, 3.77 FIP and 2.3 fWAR in over 150 innings. Right now, the bar isn’t especially high for the newest Philadelphia Phillies starter – if he can give them a fraction of being the pitcher he was five years ago, it will improve the back-end of their starting rotation, which has become a black hole.
Whether Smyly, still just 30, is capable of being that pitcher again remains to be seen. What we’ve seen of him in 2019 – including a disastrous stint in Texas and a three start stint for the Milwaukee Brewers Triple-A affiliate that could only be considered successful when compared to said stint with the Rangers – doesn’t suggest Smyly will provide any upgrade to the Phillies starting rotation. But with internal patience seemingly having run out with Nick Pivetta, the Phillies took a flier on Smyly and hope to catch lightning in a bottle as they gear up for the stretch run of a 2019 season where they find themselves very much in the thick of a crowded National League East Wild Card race.
A good place for Smyly to start would be to make a good first impression Sunday afternoon as the Phillies look to take two of three from the Pittsburgh Pirates. Here’s everything you need to know before this afternoon’s tilt:
- Scott Kingery, center field
- Jean Segura, shortstop
- Bryce Harper, right field
- Rhys Hoskins, first base
- Brad Miller, third base
- Cesar Hernandez, second base
- Adam Haseley, left field
- Andrew Knapp, catcher
- Drew Smyly, pitcher
- Kevin Newman, second base
- Bryan Reynolds, left field
- Starling Marte, center field
- Josh Bell, first base
- Melky Cabrera, right field
- Jose Osuna, third base
- Jung-ho Kang, shortstop
- Elias Diaz, catcher
- Dario Agrazal, pitcher
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup
- Drew Smyly (1-5, 8.42 ERA and 8.06 FIP with Rangers) vs. Dario Agrazal (2-0, 2.45 ERA, 5.73 FIP)
- After being released by the Rangers, Smyly signed a minor league pact with the Milwaukee Brewers. He struggled in the pitcher-unfriendly Pacific Coast League, posting a 4.97 ERA in three starts for the Triple-A San Antonio Missions.
- Agrazal, 24, has made just four starts at the major league level. Prior to his promotion, he made a combined 14 starts between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, posting a 4.05 ERA in 80 innings.
Pregame Phillies Nuggets
- Pirates All-Star first baseman Josh Bell did drive in a run in Saturday night’s Pirates win over the Phillies, his first since competing in the Home Run Derby and representing the National League at the All-Star Game in Cleveland. Thus far, the 26-year-old has gotten off to a slow start in the second half of the 2019 season, as he has just two hits in 25 at-bats since the midsummer classic.
- Rhys Hoskins has had a strange month of July – he’s hitting just .224 with only one home run, yet his on-base percentage remains over .400. Still, the Phillies would surely trade some of the 14 walks he has this month for better power numbers, like the ones he put up last July when he homered seven times.
- In 18 career games against the Phillies, Pirates outfielder Corey Dickerson has a .327 batting average.
TicketIQ Programming Information
- PNC Park
- 1:35 p.m. ET
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- SportsRadio 94 WIP
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