Drew Smyly activated off DL, optioned to Toledo

February 28, 2012; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Drew Smyly (80) poses for photo day in the rec room at the Detroit Tigers headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

With the Detroit Tigers recent acquisition of Anibal Sanchez, someone was going to be squeezed out of the starting rotation. The Tigers confirmed this afternoon injured rookie left hander Drew Smyly will be the squeeze-ee.

After the Tigers 4-1 win over the Blue Jays Sunday, the team announced Smyly would be activated off the 15-day disabled list and optioned to Toledo. His first start for the Triple A Mud Hens will be Tuesday afternoon against Louisville.

Winning the 5th spot in the rotation job with an impressive spring training, Smyly posted solid numbers for the Tigers. In 15 starts and 79.1 innings, despite a pair of trips to the DL, the rookie has a 4-3 record and 4.42 ERA. But he hasn't appeared in a game since July 6th, after striking out 10 in 6 innings in a victory over the Royals. Smyly was placed on the 15-day DL July 14th with a strained intercostal muscle on his right side, which flared up late his last start.

Smyly had been on a pitch and inning limit this season, so it makes sense he would be the odd man out after Sanchez's arrival. He does remain in the Tigers' long-term plans, but barring injury or ineffectiveness, don't expect Smyly back in Detroit until rosters expand September 1st.

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