At Baseball Daily Digest, I look at John Smoltz’s pitching splits and conclude that he can still get out Major League hitters. But there’s a caveat.
He had done well rehabbing, making two starts for A Greenville, one for AA Portland, and three for AAA Pawtucket, putting up ERA’s of 1.13, 2.70, and 3.38 respectively. By the end of June, the Sox felt that Smoltz was ready for his first Major League start in over a year. On June 25, Smoltz took the mound against the Nationals in Washington. In five innings, he allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk, and struck out five. Like the Phillies’ Pedro Martinez, expectations weren’t sky-high considering their respective absences from the Majors. It was a feeler start.
Smoltz improved the next time out, allowing one run in four innings against the Baltimore Orioles. That wouldn’t become a trend. Over the remaining six starts, Smoltz would allow 31 runs in 31 innings, and here he is now, hoping that another team needs a right-handed arm for some reason — any reason.
Many think he’s done for myriad reasons. A look at his pitching splits indicates this is not the case, however — he can still do it!