Stuck Between a Rock and a Hard Place
You can see that this isn’t as simple as taking Drew Smyly out of the rotation. There has to be a viable replacement and at this point, there really aren’t any. Texas could always aim high and go after a bigger fish in the trade market but that doesn’t line up with their current strategy. Plus, Texas likely isn’t looking to bail on Smyly altogether meaning they have to find a spot for him. He hasn’t pitched in the bigs in 2 years entering 2019 and Tommy John is a tough surgery to come back from. It takes some longer than others and Smyly, at 30, still has a good shot at regaining some form. They could try him in the bullpen perhaps but that’s no guarantee and he can’t go down to the minors.
I think the Rangers do end up making a choice in the Smyly situation but it may not be replacing him. They may go with a long-term plan of using an opener for him which has helped him somewhat. In the end, Texas has to find some resolution though because fans seem to be at their boiling point and he’s quickly losing support among the Rangers’ faithful.