11 thoughts on “Smoltz has surgery on right elbow”

  1. I was digging through my old baseball cards and found a John Smoltz minor league baseball card (Glenns Falls Tigers). I think that team is gone now…my family and I went to a minor league game up there once and I bought a pack of cards that included Smoltz. He may have pitched that night and I didn’t even know it (this was before the Doyle Alex. trade). Even though I have cards worth more, this is now the PRIZE of my collection.

    Ed

  2. So what do people think about Smoltz returning to the rotation? It would certainly save money, if you take it to mean Maddux would be ousted. I would love a rotation of

    Smoltz
    Hampton
    Ortiz
    Ramirez
    and Wainwright

    with say, Jaret Wright closing. Or working in tandem with someone else. I think a team with that rotation would be in solid contention all year, regardless of which big offensive guns get binned.

  3. I don’t htinkit’ll happen. But that said, I see it as a hihg risk/high reward kind of thing. He’s only signed for one more year anyway, and ifhe wants to do it, then he could be very useful in the rotation.

    But the rotation should already be set – I expect them to sign Maddux to run at win #300, plus you’ll have Ortiz, Hampton, Byrd (yuck) and Ramirez in there.

  4. And doesn’t Smoltz have s0omething in his contract that gives him a boatload more money if he starts?

  5. No way Smoltz starts. They treated him with kid gloves this season and his arm still crapped out at the end. Scar tissue begets scar tissue. Hopefully he can go 80 innings next year and be healthy in the (cough, cough) playoffs.

  6. Snellville Jones, I think you’re right about the contract issue. I don’t remember the details, but I don’t think it would save money to have Smoltz start. And bunyon, I agree that his elbow probably can’t take it anyway.

    Paul Byrd will have to be in the mix somewhere, I imagine. Is Wainright ready to start right away? What’s the staus of Jason Marquis?

    Maddux pitched well against Chicago, but it was just well enough to lose. He hasn’t exactly inspired confidence the last 2 years. He’s certainly a HOF’er, but I wouldn’t mind if he left. I’m still convinced Millwood would be a better fit in the Braves’ rotation.

  7. I’m not 100% sure on the contract, but I believe it is an additional $100,000 per start made.

    Contract aside, I don’t see any way Smoltz goes back into the rotation, especially with the recent arm troubles.

  8. Smoltz is saying again that he wants to go back to being a starter. He thought relieving was harder on his elbow, I presume because of less rest between outings. Quotes in the article below make him sound frustrated, I presume at being on the bench while the team loses all the time.

    He also says in here that this is his last surgery; if he needs another, he’s going to retire.

    I’d start him. I know it’s a minority opinion, but other teams have done with starters during fragile periods with the right approach (e.g. the Red Sox, with Pedro when hurting a while back and Saberhagen). Make him the fifth starter, throw in at least 5 days rest, if not 6 now and then, and let him fly. if he gets injured, so be it.

  9. The contract does call for Smoltz to get $100k per start. But that is a non-issue. The contract also calls for his 2005 option year to vest if he finishes 57 games in 2004. That option is for $12m. It would be pennywise but pound foolish to keep him in the bullpen just to keep from paying the $100k per start bonus.

    As for starting – if he is healthy enough, I’d certainly have him in the rotation. But I know so little about the health issues, that I don’t second guess Schuerholz, Cox and Mazzone on this call.

  10. From reading the AP story, it strikes me that the Braves will probably have EITHER Smoltz or Maddux in the starting rotation next year. If Maddux goes, I think they will work Smoltz into the rotation because it’s what he wants, and he will be the lone wolf left from the rotation’s glory days of the mid ’90s.

    If Maddux stays, I simply don’t see room for Smoltzie, especially if Byrd happens to recover. But i agree with Smoltz’s assessment of starting vs. closing and what it does to his arm. I am not sure what his routine used to be between starts, but I am guessing it wasn’t to be ready to pitch every single day of the season, and warm up for game action late at night often, even on days he didn’t work. It might do the guy and the team some good to let him have the few days of rest. It means he has impact on less games during the regular season, but in the postseason I could see him impacting more games.

    Let’s put it this way — if the Braves happen to make the postseason next year, and Smoltz is still considered our best pitcher, would you rather have him go out in the 9th inning only in games in which we already have a lead, or be on the mound in game 1, inning 1?

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