Though Detroit Tigers pitcher Drew Smyly can't return to the team's official roster until next week, he's adamant that he's completely healed from injury. Smyly went to the disabled list with a blister injury earlier in the month but recently had a pain-free bullpen session and claims he's good-to-go. It's likely that he didn't actually need to hit the DL with his injury, but the Tigers would rather be safe than sorry, given his strong play thus far this season.
According to Brian Britten on Twitter, Smyly is going to join Triple-A Toledo on Thursday night in a rehab assignment, as he's still on the DL and unable to return to the Tigers' rotation just yet:
Smyly will join Toledo to start on Thursday night as part of injury rehab assignment. He is slated to throw three innings. #tigers— Brian Britten (@BBritten_Tigers) June 20, 2012
Smyly had a 3.96 earned run average over 12 starts with a 1.27 WHIP. He's 2-2 on the season, but the Tigers have been struggling to produce solid offense to back him up, and he certainly should have a better record given the way that he's been pitching in his rookie season.
In his last start before hitting the DL, Smyly lasted just three innings and he clearly struggled in prior starts. Before the DL stint, his last five starts saw his ERA rise from 2.31 to 3.96, so we'll see if the time off has helped him get back to form.