You might remember that the Cubs signed Drew Smyly, who is recovering from Tommy John Surgery, to a two-year, $10 million deal this past offseason. The general thought was Smyly could return late in the second half of this season and perhaps play a significant role in 2019.
The lefty last pitched in 2016 for the Tampa Bay Rays, starting 30 games with a 4.88 ERA and 4.50 FIP. The Cubs view him as something of a Mike Montgomery type who can work mainly in long relief, particularly if he’s able to come back this season.
Smyly threw a simulated game Sunday morning at Wrigley Field before the watchful eyes of Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer, and members of the Cubs’ training and medical staffs.
Drew Smyly is pitching! pic.twitter.com/Mx4fCHZ06f
— Danny Rockett (@SonRanto) July 22, 2018
Smyly will throw another simulated game this upcoming Thursday, which will determine whether and how soon the lefty can begin a rehab assignment. If all is still going smoothly, Smyly will head out to the minors before August 1.
Drew Smyly facing live hitters in a sim game. Said he will throw again Thursday and hopes to go on a rehab assignment after that. Current plan is for him to head out before Aug. 1.
Could be a key factor in Cubs bullpen down the stretch. Said he feels great right now. pic.twitter.com/ahph19AUbz
— Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) July 22, 2018
Even more encouraging is that Smyly might actually be able to fill a spot in the starting if he’s deemed able, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.
Cubs lefty Drew Smyly (Tommy John) will throw a simulated game on Sunday then probably one more next week before heading out to the minors on a rehab assignment. He's expected to join the bullpen in August but the Cubs haven't ruled out a start for him… https://t.co/CXZFPIynQk
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) July 21, 2018