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Daily Notes: Prospect Smyly to Debut for Tigers

Posted By Carson Cistulli On April 12, 2012 @ 10:00 am In Daily Notes | 7 Comments

Table of Contents
Here’s the table of contents for today’s edition of Daily Notes.

1. Brief Previews for Select Games
2. Three Scouting Reports on Drew Smyly
3. Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Los Angeles (AL) Radio

Brief Previews for Select Games
Here are brief previews for three of today’s games — each including the preferred television feed of FanGraphs readers, per the results of our offseason crowdsourcing project. (Information on probable pitchers from MLB.com.)

Cincinnati at Washington | 13:05 ET ***MLB.TV Free Game***
Mat Latos and Gio Gonzalez each make their second starts, respectively, for their new clubs… Here are their respective Steamer projections. Latos: 163.0 IP, 8.29 K/9, 3.12 BB/9, 1.20 HR/9, 4.02 FIP. Gonzalez: 172.0 IP, 8.94 K/9, 4.07 BB/9, 0.78 HR/9, 3.63 FIP… Through Wednesday, here’s how Dusty Baker has split up playing time between his catchers. Ryan Hanigan: 4 GS, 15 PA. Devin Mesoraco: 2 GS, 6 PA.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Cincinnati.

Tampa Bay at Detroit | 13:05 ET
Detroit left-hander Drew Smyly, ranked third on Marc Hulet’s top-15 prospects list for the Tigers, makes his major-league debut… A second-round pick out of Arkansas in the 2010 draft, Smyly signed too late to play that year but posted a 2.29 FIP over 125.0 innings between High- and Double-A last season… Our David Laurila published an interview with Smyly, who’s in his age-23 season, at the end of January. Highlight from same: “In college, I was fastball, curveball, changeup, until my last year. Then I got a blister on my finger. Something happened and I couldn’t really grip it like I’ve always gripped it, so I had to change things around in the middle of the season. I started throwing a cut fastball and it turned into my number-one pitch.”… Right-hander Jeff Niemann starts for Tampa Bay.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Detroit, Barely.

Milwaukee at Chicago NL | 14:20 ET
Zack Greinke and Matt Garza both make their second regular-season starts today… Greinke was dominant on April 7th against St. Louis, eliciting either a strikeout or ground ball from 19 of the 24 batters he faced over 7.0 innings — for a single-game xFIP of 1.09 (30 xFIP-)… Cubs first baseman Bryan LaHair, viewed mostly as place-filler till Anthony Rizzo is ready for the majors, entered play Wednesday with a 306 wRC+ — in, yes, only 10 plate appearances. Here’s what he did on Wednesday: 4 PA, 1 H, 0 HR, 1 BB, 2 K.

Readers’ Preferred Broadcast: Chicago NL.

Three Scouting Reports on Drew Smyly
Here are three freely availabe scouting reports on Drew Smyly.

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com: Smyly is the prototypical advanced college lefty, one who relies on pitchability more than pure stuff. He has a four-pitch mix — fastball, cutter, curve and changeup — all of which are at least Major League average. He throws a lot of strikes and has a good amount of deception, keeping hitters off-balance well. If he can stay healthy — he has some injury history — he’s a fast-tracker who should be ready sooner rather than later.

John Sickels of Minor League Ball: Doesn’t have Casey Crosby or Andrew Oliver‘s stuff, but superior command stands out as a big plus. If you could combine Smyly’s command and secondary pitches with Oliver’s fastball, you would have a pure Grade A talent. Of course, if I could combine my brain with Brad Pitt, I’d get a lot more chicks.

Marc Hulet of FanGraphs: The first of three solid southpaw prospects, Smyly was pushed aggressively through the system but, unlike a number of other prospects, was deserving of the move. He has both polish and an impressive four-pitch repertoire; he understands how to mix his pitches throw off hitters’ timings. Smyly doesn’t throw as hard as many of Detroit’s “typical pitching prospects” but he shows decent velocity in the 87-92 mph range and keeps the ball down in the zone. He has a solid pitcher’s frame but the southpaw has battled arm injuries in the past, leading to concerns about his ability to throw 180-200 innings on a consistent basis. He should open 2012 in double-A.

Crowdsourcing Broadcasters: Los Angeles (AL) Radio
Recently, we released the results of our television broadcaster rankings — itself the product of reader crowdsourcing that started in late November. Now, FanGraphs is asking readers to rate the radio broadcast teams for all 30 major-league clubs (Click here for more on this project.)

Rate other teams: Washington / Toronto / Texas / Tampa Bay / Seattle / San Francisco / San Diego / St. Louis / Pittsburgh / Philadelphia / Oakland / New York (NL) / New York (AL) / Minnesota / Milwaukee / Miami / Los Angeles (NL).


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