Chicago Cubs News: Drew Smyly's struggles continue

After finding success during the first month of the 2023 Major League Baseball season, Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Drew Smyly has struggled since.
Chicago Cubs v New York Yankees
Chicago Cubs v New York Yankees / Al Bello/GettyImages

The Chicago Cubs may have exhausted everything they can out of veteran starting pitcher Drew Smyly.

Smyly was on the losing end of the Cubs' 6-3 loss on Saturday afternoon to the New York Yankees as he allowed 4 runs on 6 hits and 4 walks in 4 innings of work.

Smyly, who re-signed with the Cubs on a two-year contract this offseason, was impressive during the first month of the season for the team but has struggled since. In 13 starts since May 1, Smyly has posted a 4.77 ERA and a 5.55 FIP.

One may have to wonder how much longer the Cubs decide to utilize Smyly out of the starting rotation.

First and foremost, the Major League Baseball Trade Deadline is on August 1. The Cubs have yet to pick a lane in regard to the trade deadline and should the team sell, there is no question that Smyly will be a candidate to be moved.

Smyly's recent struggles likely have lessened the type of package that the Cubs can get in exchange but not to the point where the team should hold onto the veteran starting pitcher with the hope that he can help them contend next season.

If the Cubs are buyers, there is no question that the team may target a starting pitcher such as Shane Bieber of the Cleveland Guardians. Bieber is under team control beyond this season so there would be incentive for a team like the Cubs to make such a deal now as opposed to waiting to address their starting pitcher need in the offseason.

If Bieber, or another starting pitcher, is acquired by the Cubs at the deadline, then it would seem likely that Smyly will be the one replaced as the team does not appear to be at the point where they want to move Jameson Taillon out of the rotation.

It's also worth noting that the Cubs have three long-term starting pitching prospects with the Iowa Cubs currently in Hayden Wesneski, Ben Brown, and the recently promoted Jordan Wicks. All three would be candidates to replace a veteran like Smyly should the focus in the second half of the season shift to player development.

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