Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Ray Drew Smyly intends to just be himself

Drew Smyly, throwing a bullpen session at the Trop before Saturday’s game, makes his first start for the Rays tonight in Oakland.

Associated Press

Drew Smyly, throwing a bullpen session at the Trop before Saturday’s game, makes his first start for the Rays tonight in Oakland.

OAKLAND, Calif. — Having been acquired on Thursday in the three-team trade for you-know-who and spending the weekend getting introduced and acclimated (and fitted hurriedly for a tux), Drew Smyly is looking forward to finally taking the mound tonight and show his Rays teammates what he can do.

"I'm anxious to get that first game under my belt," Smyly said Monday. "Hopefully I can make a good impression for all these guys, the team, the coaches. You've just got to go out there and do the best you can."

The one thing he insists he will not try to do?

"I don't look at it as I'm replacing David," Smyly said. "You're not going to replace David Price. He's going to be one of the best on any team he goes to. I'm just here to do the best I can. The Rays made the trade, they wanted me. So I'm going to do the best I can and try to learn from them and get better every game.

"I don't think about it as trying to replace David at all. I'm just doing me. Hopefully I can put some good games together during the season and play well."

Manager Joe Maddon said that's exactly the approach the Rays want Smyly, 25, to take. And they made a point to not immediately overwhelm him with information or suggestions, providing just the basic framework of a game plan.

"I've already talked to him, I just want him to go out there and I want him to be himself," Maddon said. "We want him to keep it simple, we're going to give him a simple game plan to work with and just see if he can go ahead and execute it.

"He's been pitching well. We don't want to get in his way right now, either. We had a good conversation, wide open. It was an easy conversation. He's embracing what we do here already, and he wants to hear more. It's really good stuff."

Smyly's basic repertoire includes a fastball that barely gets into the 90-mph range, a cutter, a curveball (that looks to some like a slider) and a changeup he is still working on.

Maddon said they like the basic tools and feel that Smyly — who was 5-9, 4.21 in 18 starts (and made three relief appearances) — can prosper in their system, but they will remain cautious about forcing any change.

"David's been a Cy Young Award winner, maybe Drew can do that someday, I don't know," Maddon said. "He's been good. He's been really good. We dig into him like everybody else, we have some ideas, we'll see how it plays out."

Rays players have had good first impressions.

"He's a great guy," starter Alex Cobb said. "He seems like he's going to fit in really well with us. You know, just really down to earth, doesn't take himself too seriously. I think that's the No. 1 thing you've got to be able to do in this locker room, is not try to be a super serious, prototypical big-leaguer that you see walking around thinking that they're better than everybody else."

Smyly acknowledges that he's a bit on the shy side, and it will take him a while to loosen up around his new mates.

"These guys have been great," he said. "Every one of them has been great. … They've been way more nice than they need to be."

Contact Marc Topkin at mtopkin@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Rays.

New Ray Drew Smyly intends to just be himself 08/04/14 [Last modified: Monday, August 4, 2014 11:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Jose De Leon sent back to minors after helping Rays win

    Blogs

    RHP Jose De Leon worked 2 2/3 innings to get the win in his Rays debut Monday and then was optioned back to Triple-A Durham.

    De Leon was brought up to provide length and depth in the bullpen after the Rays played 15 innings on Sunday, and he did that, allowing three runs on four hits while throwing 69 …

  2. Rays rally twice to beat Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Starting Erasmo Ramirez on Monday after he closed out Sunday's marathon win turned out, despite the Rays' best intentions and rigid insistence, to be a bad idea as he gave up four runs without getting through three innings.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers and comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Monday's Rays-Rangers game

    The Heater

    The Rays had good reason to have faith in RHP Erasmo Ramirez starting Monday after closing Sunday based on his resiliency, versatility and efficiency. But it still turned out to be a bad idea as he allowed four runs without getting through three innings.

  4. Rays journal: Dugout bench becomes bed for Logan Morrison at end of long night

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — The Rays found creative ways to get through the physical and mental fatigue of the 6½ hours they spent playing — and ultimately winning — Sunday's game in Minnesota.

    Corey Dickerson drapes towels over an exhausted Logan Morrison in the dugout during the 15th inning of Sunday’s marathon victory.
  5. Rays at Rangers, 8:05 p.m. Tuesday, Arlington, Texas

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Rangers

    8:05, Globe Life Park, Arlington, Texas

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    SURPRISE, AZ - MARCH 2: Nick Martinez #22 of the Texas Rangers poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium on March 2, 2015 in Surprise, Arizona. (Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images)