Notes on 755 Hank Aaron Dr

Sunday, October 01, 2006

2007 Rotation Possibilities II: John Smoltz

I could see no possible way that the Braves wouldn't pick up Smoltz's option for 2007, and indeed they have done so. Yes, he's not the pitcher he once was, but they'd need to spend $8 million on someone else if they didn't keep Smoltz. That's less than or equal to what Kris Benson, Livan Hernandez, Kerry Wood, Tim Hudson, Mike Hampton, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, or Randy Johnson made in 2006. Basically, the only pitchers better than Smoltz who make less than him just aren't arbitration eligible yet.

In 2006, the Braves said they were going to try to not ride Smoltz so hard. That didn't work out, since the rest of the rotation was a complete shambles. So he started one more game than in 2005, and pitched 3 2/3 fewer innings. Smoltz seems to have worn out some in September, but before that pitched better than you ever could have expected.

Next year, his production will probably drop a bit more. That's fine; he'll still be a solid #3 starter. As long as someone else steps up and he's not all alone again, John Smoltz will not be the problem with the 2007 rotation.


G W L IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP BAA
33 14 7 229.2 210 83 78 18 53 169 3.06 1.15 0.243
34 15 9 226.0 215 93 90 23 52 206 3.58 1.18 0.250

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