Atlanta Braves: Should John Smoltz be re-signed to help Braves bullpen?

The Boston Red Sox cut John Smoltz Friday after the veteran pitcher, signed as a free agent this past January, managed only a 2-5 record in eight starts with an 8.33 ERA.

YOU TELL US: Do you think Smoltz, who racked up 154 saves from 2001-04 as Atlanta’s closer, should be re-signed to help in the Braves bullpen? Or is he, at age 42 and coming off shoulder rehab, simply out of gas?

352 comments Add your comment

AtlantaNative62

August 10th, 2009
11:05 am

Give him a shot at the bullpen. Other than Lance Armstrong, no athlete I’ve ever seen is more resilient than Smoltz. Give him three shots. If he can’t do it, retire him while he’s wearing an Atlanta jersey….which is the way is should be.

Father Time

August 10th, 2009
11:08 am

Father Time has caught up with him as it does us all. I think he should get the retired jersey
ceremony and maybe a broadcasting stint on Sport South.

18 Wheels of Love

August 10th, 2009
11:10 am

What part of his 8+ ERA do you consider worthy of our bullpen?

He had his shot, he chose to take more money, which I have no problem with, but he then made the mistake of throwing the Braves completely under the bus to the press.

Pass.

josh

August 10th, 2009
11:11 am

No way!!!!!! If you put him on this team and he struggles, Bobby won’t have the heart to sit him. He’ll keep throwing him out there like Francouer, Bennett, Acosta, and everyone else at the expense of the team.

Smoltz moved on and so should the Braves.

braveman

August 10th, 2009
11:12 am

i say bring him back and stick him in the pen…. just in case soriano starts to struggle.

Alex

August 10th, 2009
11:12 am

Give him until late Sept and bring him up for a final push if the Braves are close. Bottom line is this dude can pitch in the post season as long as you give him time to rest. Sox rushed him back, IMO.

insman

August 10th, 2009
11:13 am

Give him a chance. He’s a Brave. Best closer the Braves have had in their francise history.

michael

August 10th, 2009
11:14 am

make him the pitching coach!!!!!!!!

Greg from Marietta

August 10th, 2009
11:15 am

NO, Tom has run out of gas and it’s time for him to hang it up. He’s been a great pitcher and will go down in history as such but his stint with Boston demonstrated that he’s no longer the “Tom Terrific” we once knew. I respect him as a man but his usefulness as a pitcher has past.

Nativebird

August 10th, 2009
11:15 am

Out of gas. Get lost. Had the chance to stay, but you badmouthed us for a few (more) million dollars. I vote no. 29 stay’s an unretired uni as well.
bye bye.

dmack2027

August 10th, 2009
11:15 am

no chance he returns given how things transpired this offseason.

BubbaDaBatta

August 10th, 2009
11:16 am

The Braves are 4.5 Games out of 1st! Why would you want to take up a Roster spot just to have the “name”?…Besides, he probably didn’t ingratiate himself with Braves Management with his parting shots and comments about Tom Glavine’s release…

Bravesfan54

August 10th, 2009
11:17 am

Hell to the no.

Roger

August 10th, 2009
11:17 am

In my heart I would love to see Smoltz on the mound for the Braves again but since Tom Glavine got the shaft from Wren, I think it would be counter productive to bring Smoltz back and maybe cause more hurt feelings. Just let Smoltz go on and retire. Give him a jersey retirement ceremony like Greg Maddux.

Reid Adair

August 10th, 2009
11:19 am

I say no. Not because I don’t think he has the potential to help, but because I think the Braves burned their bridge with John Smoltz when Frank Wren and company lied to the fans and the public, claiming the Braves’ offer was similar to Boston’s.

Chris

August 10th, 2009
11:20 am

Greg – quit taking drugs. It might help you remember who we’re talking about.

We’re going to need someone very soon with the way our pen has been worked. That’s all I’ll say. It needs to be him or someone else.

RemoW

August 10th, 2009
11:21 am

No way. This team has just found it own identity after exercising the ghosts of league championships past. I think it would mess up the chemistry and he just isn’t the same pitcher.

N8

August 10th, 2009
11:23 am

“What part of his 8+ ERA do you consider worthy of our bullpen?”

I did an extensive number crunch on DOB’s blog the other day, and even with his recent struggles, his “bad numbers” have mostly been the 2nd and 3rd (when he has actually gotten that far) time through the order.

Other than his first inning of the season, he has allowed only 1 ER in his other 7 “1st innings”, and has and ERA under 3.00 in the first three innings of each game.

So to me it’s not about the numbers. It has way more to do with his attitude, pizzing and moaning and his general mud slinging at the organization after HE LEFT and when Glavine was not called up over Hanson. So, I’d lean towards “no” based on that.

But ultimately, the question should come down to these three “points”:

A) Can he still help us more than say Acosta in the bullpen, thus giving Moylan, Gonzo and Soriano the occasional break?

B) Would he be interested in being the 3rd or 4th guy out of the bullpen?

C) Can Wren and Smoltz get over their own egos to make it happen if the answers to A & B are “yes”?

Doug B

August 10th, 2009
11:24 am

Money will be an issue unless he clears waivers and then we can pick him up for the minimal.

dap01

August 10th, 2009
11:27 am

Sign him cheap. Let him prove himself in Gwinnett. Then bring him up for a set up role or simply let him retire a Brave.

Flanagan

August 10th, 2009
11:27 am

Why not? Let him do a couple of relief innings to help rest the bullpen for the stretch run. It would be a good P.R. move for one, and two you have nothing to lose. If he has anything left at all, he would be worth it. If not, at least you mend fences with a guy that gave the team everything he had.

Remember, this is the national league where he would be more comfortable. And his post season experience would be valuable to these guys if they made a run here at the end!

Boribrave

August 10th, 2009
11:28 am

eastbound and down

August 10th, 2009
11:30 am

i would bring him back. the closer role for the braves remains suspect

N8

August 10th, 2009
11:32 am

“And his post season experience would be valuable to these guys if they made a run here at the end!”

Totally agree with that statement. Just having him sitting down in the bullpen is worth whatever it costs, imo. He’s got more post-season experience (not to mention, success), than the entire bullpen combined. Does anybody in our bullpen even have an inning of playoff experience? Soriano maybe?

Ken

August 10th, 2009
11:32 am

Yes, he should have stayed in the bullpen all along. It was a mistake to start using him as a starter again. We could really use him as a setup man or even a closer.

MajorPain

August 10th, 2009
11:33 am

No, not now not ever. At this moment, Smoltz is not better than any of the starting five and does not ahve the right personality for this bull pen. Smoltz has to be the man, the man in the spotlight. At best he would be alowly set up guy. Why ruin the good chemistry with a bad ego?

Dawg19

August 10th, 2009
11:33 am

Closer role suspect? Soriano has had 2 bad games this year. Gonzo was very good for a while.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Smoltz out of the Bullpen. Would be ironic if he left the Braves to go to a contender (and more money) then came back and ultimately helped the Braves into the post season again. Dreaming here, but would be funny if the Braves met the Red Sox in the WS and Smoltz was a dominant force against them.

Dobearsbare

August 10th, 2009
11:33 am

Uh, no. Unless he wants to do it for free.

midnite

August 10th, 2009
11:34 am

You can’t go back folks, let the Braves move forward without the dead weight er,uh, dead arm. Frank Wren did not lie about the contract, with incentives reached it was near the same money.

H.T.

August 10th, 2009
11:35 am

He is done. He should have walked away after last season.

Joe Fan

August 10th, 2009
11:36 am

I would offer him a minor league contract, see how he respodns for the G-Braves and if things look good bring in up when rosters expand in September. Can’t hurt to have his arm in the pen, if he has anything left, for the final push

Stephen

August 10th, 2009
11:36 am

If you watched him in the first inning of his last start he was actually pretty good. His velocity was decent (92-93 mph) and he was narrowly missing strikes and not getting some calls he probably would get elsewhere (yankees home game). Personally, every time I see him in a Red Sox uni it kind of hurts a little. I would love to see him back in the bullpen, give him a shot.

cdog

August 10th, 2009
11:37 am

before everyone has the braves in the playoffs and world series, the braves has to prove they can beat the teams in their division. the nationals especially. the nats own the braves.bobby cox is geared up to put kelly johnson back in the lineup which will spell trouble for the braves.until they learn to beat the nats and marlins they will come up short

Moundtain Getaway

August 10th, 2009
11:37 am

If we can get him for the minimum, then it may be worth it for his experience alone. We have to have some bullpen help unless they decide to stick Huddy in there for the rest of the year, or KK, either way. If they do that then I say no, otherwise do it for the min.

cdog

August 10th, 2009
11:38 am

bring back smoltz and release manny acosta. he can’t do any worse than soriano and acosta

Moundtain Getaway

August 10th, 2009
11:39 am

cdog- I can’t see Cox giving KJ the starting 2nd basemen again right now. Prado is still on fire and Kelly is proving useful off the bench..worlds above Norton!

Larry

August 10th, 2009
11:41 am

Let him clear waivers, then pick him up on the cheap and put him in the pen. Let him close when we are up big. I just want to be able to go to the ballpark and watch Smoltz walk from the pen to the mound in the 9th while they play Thunderstruck. That is pure awesome.

bubba

August 10th, 2009
11:42 am

Who would be paying his guaranteed contract?

Dawg19

August 10th, 2009
11:42 am

What is going on with people being down on Soriano? Here are his numbers for the season:
IP W S K ERA WHIP K/9
52.0 1 17 69 2.42 0.96 11.94

That is not struggling!!!!!!!

Marcus

August 10th, 2009
11:43 am

Interesting prospect.
If both parties were amenable, I would say “go for it …” but the pride of Mr. Wren and Smoltzie would torpedo this deal before it even got a head of steam.

Kendawg

August 10th, 2009
11:43 am

I doubt if Smoltz’s ego would allow him to be a set-up man in the bullpen. Aside from that, his behavior after the Braves failed to sign him and his statements about Glavine being cut would render him untouchable in my eyes. Besides, everything has always been about him, not the team. I say NO!!!!!!!

Dawg19

August 10th, 2009
11:43 am

Bubba, the guaranteed contract would be paid by Boston. Once Smoltz clears waivers and is released any team can sign him for the league minimum.

18 Wheels and a Dozen Roses

August 10th, 2009
11:45 am

If Glavine went through rehab and got cut loose, then no dice for Smoltz, move on. It’s all sentimentality.

Brave 4 ever

August 10th, 2009
11:46 am

Say no to Smoltz and drugs.

The Grinch

August 10th, 2009
11:46 am

ABSOLUTELY NOT. Smoltz got 14 mil to sit in the broadcast booth last year, then refused a perfectly reasonable, incentive laden offer to finish a 22 year career with the team who made him a very, very rich man. Not only did he sell out to the opposition for the eqiv. (to him) of pennies, but he trashed the team, the city and left his teammates hanging in the wind. Thankfully, Wren was correct (as he usually is) and we did better without him. We owe him nothing but a swift kick in his greedy, self-righteous posterior. His bust in Cooperstown should be of a golf cart with cash flying out of the back.

Arkansas Transplant

August 10th, 2009
11:46 am

He would be well worth the risk. And in sports, risk is what its all about. You never know, you might just catch lightining in a bottle. Could you imagine if Smoltz was to right himself just in time for the playoffs? There is quite the opportunity for high reward here. Plus, think of the influence he brings to the clubhouse. I think if there was even the remote chance of bringing him back for this last little push you’d be stupid not to at least investigate it. I think this is another low risk, high reward opportunity.

Livin IN AL

August 10th, 2009
11:46 am

Interesting question, I try to project toward the last 10-15 games of the season and we are hot on the tail of the Phillies; Moylan, Soraino, and Gonzales have made umpteen appearances all with repaired arms, would I rather see Boone Logan, Manny Acosta, or Smoltz try to hold that critical game(s) for a couple of innings? ..Send Smoltz to AAA Gwinnett for a while( in his backyard) and then give him the chance.

Dawg20

August 10th, 2009
11:47 am

Soriano is in a mini(?) slump. To point solely to his season stats and ignore the blown saves of late is, well, dumb. Here’s hoping he snaps back quick. We need him.

L.W. Copok

August 10th, 2009
11:48 am

Smoltz could make this team better……even if he doesn’t pitch like he used too, simply his presence could make the Braves a better team. I don’t think Smoltz is done and I think he can still get out National L. hitters out…..as a closer anyway. I think he can easily gain 3 to 5 mph on his fastball as his arm gets stronger. With his knowledge of pitching and WINNING he is worth a shot….especially at the league minimum. Put him on the team and if he doesn’t do well leave him off the playoff roster….simple as that.

TampaGator

August 10th, 2009
11:48 am

cdog..Acosta has better stuff than Smoltz right now. If they sign him, he goes to AAA until Sept 1 to build his arm strenght and then see if he can help the Braves (which I don’t see Smoltz doing). It would be nice to see Smoltzie out there again (you Smoltz haters tend to forget what the man did for the Braves for so many years) in a Braves uniform. Maybe a September call up and, if he can’t pitch, he can at least retire wearing a Braves cap instead of one of those “buy the WS title” teams like the Red Sox and Yankees. By the way, is anyone else sick of the “Red Sox and Yankees” series hype…you would think they are the only two teams in basball according to ESPN and MLB.com. The Braves and Dodgers played a great series and you would not even have know they played if you were watching ESPN this weekend.