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Smoltz refuses assignment to minors

Aug 12, 2009, 2:49 PM EDT

Designated for assignment by the Red Sox last week, John Smoltz has refused a demotion to the minors. That basically ends his career in Boston, as the Red Sox now must either trade or release the 42-year-old veteran, who reportedly passed through waivers unclaimed yesterday.
Ken Rosenthal of notes that a trade could prove difficult because of the incentives in Smoltz’s contract, so interested teams such as the Cardinals or Dodgers may wait to pursue him until the Red Sox cut him loose. Smoltz posted an ugly 8.32 ERA in eight starts with the Red Sox, but I’m still convinced that he can get big-league hitters out and for now at least it sounds like he wants to continue pitching.
Everyone teed off on his fastball, but the pitch still clocked in at an average of 91.3 miles per hour and Smoltz’s slider remained extremely tough to hit. He also had a solid 33/9 K/BB ratio in 40 innings and held right-handed batters to .232/.259/.390 in 85 plate appearances, all of which suggests that he still has a little gas left in the tank. A move back to the bullpen might be best for Smoltz, who seemed to fall apart after the first couple innings.
Incidentally, you can watch a 24-year-old Smoltz pitch against Jack Morris in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series right now on MLB Network. I have a feeling it’ll be a decent game.

  1. eual stanga - Aug 12, 2009 at 4:44 PM


  2. Mandy - Aug 12, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    It was about time for the Sox to do what was best for the entire team as opposed to the Brett Farve of baseball. You had a good stretch Smoltz…go out on a good note…not as the old guy that didn’t know when to retire.
    He did not contribute to the team and his lack of pitching ability led to a massive depletion in the bullpen. We needed a pitcher that could go 7 innings…with Smoltz we were lucky to get 5. Not good enough for a rookie to stay in the bigs so why should a vet get any different of treatment.
    Thanks Sox…for finally putting the team first and doing whats right! On another note…its about time Youk defended himself! You should have done that to Joba!!!! GO SOX!

  3. Ken - Aug 12, 2009 at 5:37 PM

    Everything from this point forward will be done on a panic level by the Red Sox. They are getting exactly the type of play they should be getting out of most of their roster. What they aren’t getting this year is a hero every time they needed to temporarily fill a hole. As in past year’s where every move payed off in huge dividends. I doubt they are going to be able to catch the Yankees, that race is basically over. And charging the mound with the stupidity that Youk did last night just shows a team in panic. Mandy says he should have done it to Joba, and I say he didn’t have the balls then plus his team held the upper hand which was more important. He played smart back then, but panic has a way of putting yourself and your team in worse situations. Now they must deal 5 games without Youk, one of their better players. Maybe it will cost them the wild card spot as well.

  4. Greg - Aug 12, 2009 at 6:29 PM

    Bring Smoltzie back to the Braves we’d love to have him back in the ATL!!!!!!!

  5. Steve - Aug 12, 2009 at 8:50 PM

    Mandy you are right they needed to let Smoltz go. I was hesitantly optimistic from the beginning but my worst case scenario came to pass. He can still throw hard but the ball is not moving like before. He may be all done, maybe not, but the Red Sox are not scoring enough runs per game to wait any longer for Smoltz to get fixed.
    Greg I hope he goes back to the Braves. It is where he should exit baseball.
    Ken, you failed to tell the whole story, when others were filling in quite well (in previous years)for injured players, Papi was hitting and/or Manny was hitting and others were dangerous. Bay is a very good outfielder and good hitter but is not the threat Manny was/is. And, with Papi’s dead bat they are not scoring enough runs from game to game. They may make it to the playoffs, they may not, but, it will not be because of injuires. It’ll be because there is not enough danger in the 3, 4 and 5 spot in the line-up (Youk being the lone threat).

  6. Aluminum Fence - Oct 15, 2009 at 4:37 PM

    I agree, Smoltz should finish out at the Braves.

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