Now Commenting On:

Smyly thrilled to face off against Lee


LAKELAND, Fla. -- Not only did Drew Smyly grow up following Cliff Lee as a fellow Arkansan, he modeled his game after Lee's as a fellow left-hander with a similar assortment of pitches. Others have noted they have the same quiet aggressiveness that helped Lee become one of the best lefties in baseball.

So when Smyly learned he'll be starting opposite Lee on Monday when the Tigers visit the Phillies in Clearwater, he was smiling. He'll be focused on his own game as he tries to take the first step towards winning a rotation spot back, but he might spend some time watching his counterpart too.

"He's a good one to try to steal some notes from," Smyly said Saturday morning. "We have the same type of style. Pretty much our pitches are all the same. I like watching his games."

Smyly and Lee share the same agent and worked out together on occasion while Smyly was pitching at the University of Arkansas. They most recently talked over the offseason.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español