3. Drew Smyly
Another southpaw who can help the Blue Jays down the stretch is Drew Smyly. The veteran has pitched well for the Cubs this season, although he did miss over a month earlier this year due to an oblique injury.
Smyly has made two starts since the injury and threw 83 pitches in his last start before the All-Star break. In his 11 starts this season, he’s gone 2-5 with a 4.22 ERA. Again, the win-loss record is not indicative of how he’s pitched.
He’s allowed three runs or fewer in eight of his 11 starts and four runs or fewer in all of them. He’s not going to give the Jays seven scoreless very often, but he will give them a chance to win. With their offense, a five-inning start allowing a couple of runs should be fine.
Smyly fits a similar profile to Quintana and Kelly. He limits hard contact very well. He ranks in the 96th percentile in average exit velocity according to baseball savant and the 81st percentile in hard-hit rate.
Like Quintana, Smyly began his career in the AL Central and has also played in the AL East. At Rogers Centre, he’s gone 4-0 in six appearances (four starts) with a 1.63 ERA. It might not mean much, but Smyly is clearly comfortable on that mound.
Smyly has a mutual option for next season so if the Jays decide they don’t want him, they wouldn’t have to keep him past this year if they traded for him.
As is the case for all three of these guys, Smyly won’t cost very much at all to acquire and fits the mold of a back-end starter very well. Just give the offense a chance to win the game. It should work most of the time.