LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- Drew Smyly thought back to last year and tried to pick one moment that stood out as the highlight.
It wasn't easy.
The Detroit left-hander won a job in the rotation in spring training, made his major league debut, started 18 games, came out of the bullpen in a huge playoff victory at Yankee Stadium -- and finished the season pitching in the World Series.
"A lot to choose from -- hard to say. Obviously playoffs, that was something I never really expected or thought much about," Smyly said. "Pitching in the World Series was breathtaking almost."
Smyly doesn't turn 24 until June, but already he's experienced a lot at the big league level. A somewhat surprising choice to be the No. 5 starter last year, he showed poise from the beginning, and when a midseason trade bumped him out of the rotation, Smyly kept contributing in relief.
His role isn't clear this season either -- he's competing with Rick Porcello for the last rotation spot -- but not much seems to faze Smyly after he reached the majors less than two years after being drafted.
"Same mindset, same goal, same objectives. I'm a little more comfortable," Smyly said. "I feel more at home than I did last year."
Smyly was among six pitchers with a chance to become Detroit's No. 5 starter out of spring training last year. He won the job despite never having pitched above Double-A.
Smyly went 4-3 with a 3.99 ERA, but he was bothered by a blister on his left middle finger and a right intercostal strain. After the Tigers traded for Anibal Sanchez, they didn't need Smyly to start.
But they still needed him to be ready.
In Game 1 of the AL championship series, Smyly made his postseason debut in a tense situation. Closer Jose Valverde had wasted a four-run lead in the ninth inning in New York, and Smyly came on in the 11th. He allowed a leadoff single but nothing more, and after the Tigers scored two runs in the 12th, the rookie set down the Yankees in order to preserve the win.
The Tigers re-signed Sanchez, leaving Smyly and Porcello to vie for the last spot in the rotation.
Castellanos has 'great swing'
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jim Leyland doesn't know if Nick Castellanos will make his Opening Day roster. Castellanos may not have enough experience in left field, but the Detroit Tigers manager has no doubts about one thing.
"He's got a great swing, I'll tell you that much," Leyland said.
That swing was on display again Thursday as Castellanos had three hits in an 11-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Castellanos, considered Detroit's top prospect by many observers, is 6 for 9 this spring, giving Leyland reason to consider the youngster -- despite the young slugger spending most of his time at Double-A last year.
"He's obviously making a heck of an impression so far," Leyland said of the former first-round draft pick. "You'd be foolish to say he wasn't."
The Tigers pounded out 15 hits, including a two-run homer from Austin Jackson, and a single and RBI double from Miguel Cabrera.
Berkman getting out the rust
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Lance Berkman knows he has rust. He's not sure how much.
Berkman singled, walked and scored two runs in his Rangers' spring training debut, a 10-0 win over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday that gave Texas its first exhibition victory this year after an 0-5 start.
Limited to 32 games last year with St. Louis and coming off a pair of knee operations, Berkman was held out of the first six exhibition games because of a strained right calf.
In his second outing for the Indians, Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up a two-run homer to Mitch Moreland. Dice-K, Cleveland's third pitcher, allowed four hits in two innings.
An 18-game winner in 2008 with Boston who had elbow surgery in 2011, Matsuzaka signed a minor league contract on Feb. 13 with the Indians and is competing for one of two vacancies in the rotation. He pitched two hitless innings against Cincinnati in his Indians' exhibition debut.
"Condition-wise I didn't feel as good as I did during my first outing," Matsuzaka said through an interpreter. "I was hoping to hold them to zeros, but I was unable to do that. I'm trying out a few different routines as I prepare for each outing. My routine was a little different from my first outing."
Rookie Trevor Bauer pitched two perfect innings, but the Rangers hit four other pitchers hard.
Near-perfect start for Chapman
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Cincinnati's project to turn hard-throwing Aroldis Chapman into a starter got off to a near-perfect start in the split squad Reds' 4-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
Chapman has 16 starts in the minors but was derailed by injuries when he tried to make the conversion to starter last spring. He has never started a major league games in his three seasons but seemed comfortable in the role.
He started and faced the minimum six batters in two innings.