Let the hand-wringing over pitchers and the World Baseball Classic resume.
Mariners left-hander Drew Smyly will open the season on the disabled list and is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a flexor bundle strain, the team announced Friday.
Seattle general manager Jerry Dipoto didn't draw a direct line from Smyly's participation in the WBC to the injury, but told reporters (via the Seattle Times) the pitcher wasn't the same when he got back.
Smyly, who has a history of shoulder problems, pitched one game for the United States in the WBC, an impressive 4 2/3-inning performance against Venezuela in which he struck out eight and didn't allow an earned run. He had not pitched for nine days before that outing, which is unusual in spring training.
The flexor bundle strain is an elbow issue, and Smyly should be able to avoid surgery. He will seek a second opinion, but the Mariners have plans to open the season with left-hander Ariel Miranda as the No. 4 starter.
Smyly, 27, was 7-12 with a 4.88 ERA in 30 starts for the Rays last season, working a career-high 175 1/3 innings. Seattle acquired him in January in a trade that sent outfielder Mallex Smith and two others to Tampa Bay, then avoided arbitration by signing Smyly to a one-year, $6.85 million contract two days later.