Like getting too into House of Cards, having too much fun at laser tag, or ordering too much bacon for breakfast, having two viable candidates competing for the Detroit Tigers’ fifth rotation spot is an awesome problem to have. Today, it was Drew Smyly’s turn to step up to the literal and proverbial plate and during his two innings of work he was sharp while only giving up one hit to the Philadelphia Phillies.
I know it’s only two innings of work—a small sample size really only suitable for someone like Fox News to spin into a drastic conclusion about the rest of the season. However, let’s recognize what today is for Smyly—a start that can be used to build on going forward. Like the runaway semi driven by David Hasselhoff in my screenplay, Speed 3: Shut the Truck Up, Smyly can hopefully continue increasing the momentum he built last season.
There is definitely more pressure on Rick Porcello to hold on to the fifth spot in Detroit’s rotation. He’s more experience than Smyly, but has remained fairly stagnant the last three seasons. Smyly, on the other hand, has only played one partial season but his 3.99 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 2012 were better than Porcello’s ERA and WHIP of 4.59 and 1.53 respectively.
Frankly, Porcello is likely going to be the guy on the bump in the Tigers’ fifth game of the regular season. However, with every effective inning Smyly works during spring training the leash on Porcello gets that much shorter, as Smyly asserts himself as a realistic option for the fifth spot in the rotation.
Justin Gawel is a hot sauce enthusiast who mainly writes for Rant Sports about the Detroit Tigers. Follow him on Google+ for all of his article postings.