PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners southpaw Drew Smyly has looked extremely sharp in his first two Cactus League outings, and now he's waiting to get a chance to show what he can do in the World Baseball Classic after learning he'll be added to Team USA for a likely second-round game.Smyly,
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners southpaw Drew Smyly has looked extremely sharp in his first two Cactus League outings, and now he's waiting to get a chance to show what he can do in the World Baseball Classic after learning he'll be added to Team USA for a likely second-round game.
Smyly, obtained by trade from the Rays in January to bolster Seattle's rotation, remained unscored on this spring with three innings of one-hit ball in Monday's 9-0 victory over the Rangers at Peoria Stadium.
:: 2017 World Baseball Classic ::
Smyly has allowed just the one hit in his first five frames with Seattle, with two walks and five strikeouts.
The 27-year-old was named as part of the United States' provisional pitching pool for the Classic, meaning he can be added for either the second or third rounds. He learned several days ago that he'll be called on to pitch one game -- either a tiebreaker game if needed at the end of the first round on March 13 in Miami or the first game of the second round in San Diego on March 14 or 15 -- and then rejoin the Mariners.
"I'll only get to pitch in one game, but I'm going to make the most of it," Smyly said.
Smyly will throw a 20-pitch simulated outing on Thursday just to stay sharp, then fly to Miami to hook up with the national squad.
"I'm excited," he said. "Getting to be around those guys, everyone in that locker room is a tremendous player. The atmosphere, putting USA on your chest, playing against the best in the world from the other countries. But mostly just getting to know those guys and maybe getting to pick some of their brains.
"I think I can only get better and learn from talking to those caliber of players. And getting to be back with my old Detroit coaching staff with Jim Leyland and Jeff Jones, the pitching coach. I'm excited just to see them and get to play for Jim one more time."
Smyly certainly has been everything the Mariners hoped in his first two outings. He threw 45 pitches in his three innings against the Rangers, allowing a lone single in the third.
"I feel good right now," he said. "Just trying to build my arm up. I like where my pitches are at right now. I'll just continue to work on command and consistency, but I feel good."
Catcher Mike Zunino liked what he saw from behind the dish.
"He's got four pitches that he's filling up the zone with," Zunino said. "And we are finding times to mix his changeup in. He's got great cutter command, arm-side and glove-side. He can throw up and down and in and out with the fastball. His strength is just moving the ball all around."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter [
@GregJohnsMLB]() and listen to his podcast.