The Rangers designated Smyly for assignment Thursday, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Acquired from the Cubs in November with the expectation that he would be a veteran anchor for the Texas rotation, Smyly turned in just one quality start in his nine turns through the rotation before being demoted to the bullpen. The lefty didn't take well to relief work either, giving up six runs -- including four homers -- in his most recent two appearances before Texas decided to pull the plug. Given the poor form Smyly displayed this season, it would be surprising if another team traded for him or scooped him up off waivers.
Smyly gave up a run on three hits and a walk while striking out five over three innings of relief to record his first save of the season in Friday's 7-1 win over the Reds. Other than a Nick Senzel solo shot, Smyly was sharp in this one, throwing 32 of 53 pitches for strikes en route to his first save since 2013. The left-hander is still digging himself out of a brutal ratio hole, but a few more strong appearances could put him back into consideration for a rotation spot despite his current 8.06 ERA, 1.88 WHIP and 49:32 K:BB through 48 innings.
Smyly (ankle) will head to the bullpen but won't be placed on the 10-day injured list, Jessica Camerato of MLB.com reports. Previous reports broke the news that Smyly would lose his next start, raising speculation that the ankle sprain which had been bothering him would send him to the injured list. That does not appear to be in the team's plans for now. The Rangers will go with a bullpen day for Smyly's next turn in the rotation Friday against the Reds, though his long-term replacement hasn't been announced.
Smyly (ankle) will not start Friday against the Reds, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Smyly is dealing with an ankle sprain. For now, he'll be listed as a member of the bullpen, but there's a good chance he winds up on the injured list instead. He's hardly a significant loss for the Rangers at this point, as he owns an 8.40 ERA through 45 innings of work. The team has not announced who will start in his place.
General manager Jon Daniels acknowledged Monday that Smyly could be a candidate for the 10-day injured list while the southpaw continues to deal with lingering effects of a sprained ankle that first surfaced in mid-May, Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports. "[The ankle] has been a bit of a limiting factor for him," Daniels said. "He hasn't been able to fully push off all the time...We don't have a lot of options. There's not a ton of pitching readily available." A trip to the IL would provide convenient cover for the fact that Smyly's rotation spot is clearly on thin ice while he maintains an 8.40 ERA and 1.91 WHIP across 45 innings for the season. The Rangers plan to speak with Smyly before determining his next step, but if he isn't placed on the IL, there's a real chance that he gets sent to the bullpen. Joe Palumbo, who made a spot start for a doubleheader over the weekend, would likely rank as the top alternative to join the rotation Friday in Cincinnati. The next-best alternative would likely be Triple-A Nashville starter Seth Maness, though he would need to be added to the 40-man roster in such a scenario.