The Atlanta Braves have added another arm to their pitching staff. On Monday, they signed southpaw Drew Smyly of Little Rock, AR to a one-year deal worth $11 million from the San Francisco Giants.
The Braves become Smyly’s sixth Major League Baseball team. In addition to the Giants, Smyly has played with the Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Texas Rangers, and Philadelphia Phillies.
Smyly only played seven games last season, and had a record of zero wins and one loss with an earned run average of 3.42. In 26 1/3 innings, he gave up 20 hits, 10 earned runs, and nine walks, to go along with 42 strikeouts. Smyly also had a WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched) of 1.10.
With the Giants last season, Smyly was sixth on the team in starts behind Johnny Cueto, Kevin Gausman, Tyler Anderson, Logan Webb and Trevor Cahill. Despite pitching in a pitcher’s baseball park such as Orcale Park, he was unable to record a victory during the coronavirus-shortened season, or pick up a quality start. Ironically, it was Smyly’s final regular season start in 2020 (where he had the loss), that he picked up a season-high 10 strikeouts in a 5-4 Giants loss to the San Diego Padres.
The Braves will be hoping that they get more of the 2020 Drew Smyly than the 2019 one. During the 2019 season, Smyly had the worst season of his career as he posted a record of four wins and seven losses with an earned run average of 6.24. He was however much better with the Philadelphia Phillies that season than the Texas Rangers. Smyly was 3-2 with an earned run average of 4.45 with the Phillies, and was 1-5 with an earned run average of 8.42 with the Rangers.
It will now be interesting to see where the Braves fit Smyly into their lineup. One must also wonder if he will be used at the back of their starting rotation or as a reliever. Due to the fact the Braves are paying Smyly $11 million this season, one would expect it will be a starter.