2 thoughts on “Back from Birmingham”

  1. Well, the team is expecting him back no earlier than the last week of the season. However, the team has been, well, utterly wrong about his expected return date since this came up. So I’m not yet too optimistic about that prediction.

  2. Mac wrote:
    >It’s still going to be sore, but it’s >structurally sound.

    Smoltz’s ability to pitch well is more and more questionable, unfortunately. Mac is quoting Smoltz himself, who does not expect the pain to disappear, and admits that, at present, his fastball and slider will not be nearly as effective as before the injury. In his column yesterday, Jayson Stark wrote about bullpens in the playoffs. If Smoltz “is himself,” Stark ranks the Braves pen 4th among NL teams. If he’s not himself, the ranking drops to 8th. I also thought it interesting that in *his* column yesterday, Mark Bowman quoted Darren Holmes – “But you also have to look at what if we don’t have John, and if we don’t, we’ll go into the postseason and make due.”

    It’s possible, but highly unlikely, that Smoltz will be able to pitch pain-free in the playoffs, and be at 100% effectiveness. The more likely scenario is that Smoltz will pitch with pain, which is not good at all. After all, he admitted that he went on the DL because the pain was becoming too intense. It’s also possible that Smoltz is done for the year. Holmes’s remark is not comforting.

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