Smoltz Signs… With TBS

John Smoltz announced yesterday that he will be taking a studio job with TBS for the time being. That essentially rules out any return to the big leagues by opening day for Smoltz. The future hall-of-famer did say he isn’t officially retired, leaving a return possible, but for the foreseeable future, John Smoltz will not be pitching in the big leagues.

It looked like Smoltz was done last year after struggling with the Boston Red Sox. Smoltz gave up 37 runs in 40 innings in that stint, for an ERA of 8.33. His peripherals, however, suggested that he could still be a productive pitcher, as he posted a 3.67 K/BB and a 4.95 FIP despite an uncharacteristically high 14.8% HR/FB rate.

A move to St. Louis suggested that there was still some gas in the tank. He put up a stellar 2.73 FIP, 2.76 tRA, and 3.46 xFIP in 38 innings with St. Louis. Overall, we have Smoltz as a 1.5 win player in a measly 78 innings in 2009. Even if Smoltz doesn’t have the durability to be a starter any more, there seems to be sufficient evidence that he could be a very productive reliever.

The projection systems all like Smoltz for 2010. These systems all consider age, and yet of the five systems we show on the site (CHONE, ZiPS, Marcel, Bill James, Fans), the worst projection is CHONE’s at a 4.00 FIP. All the others think he’s at least a 3.82 FIP pitcher, making him a well above average pitcher. There’s no way that some team can’t find a spot for him in their rotation (St. Louis, Milwaukee, Seattle, as examples) or bullpen (Minnesota, for one).

It’s always disappointing when talent is forced out of the big leagues, for whatever reason. Still, I, for one, don’t think we’ll have to wait too long for Smoltz to find his way back.

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11 Responses to “Smoltz Signs… With TBS”

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  1. Doctor_Teh says:

    Interesting article. Kind of sad that he won’t be palying right away, I was sort of hoping the Twins would pick him up, just to see if he could give our bullpen a bit of help.

    Also, just small nitpick but meastly should be measly, I believe.

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    • Bradley says:

      I think just about everyone who reads this site is sad their respective team hasn’t picked him up yet. Smotlz is still a stud and would probably be relatively cheap.

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  2. The Usual SusBeck says:

    For those of you wondering, ‘meastly’ was properly used. Measly in quantity + beastly in quality = 78 ‘meastly’ innings.

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  3. neuter_your_dogma says:

    I wouldn’t feel sorry for Smoltz. From what I hear, he is a regular at many golf courses from Florida to Georgia, and intends to sharpen his game for a shot at the Sr. Tour.

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  4. walkoffblast says:

    I might feel sorry for him if I did not think his monetary aspirations had something to do with it.

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  5. Adam says:

    “It’s always disappointing when talent is forced out of the big leagues, for whatever reason.”

    Anybody else’s thoughts immediately go to Bonds when they read this? That guy could still post a .400+ OBP today if only some AL team would sign him as their DH.

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  6. NEPP says:

    Even as a fan of rival team, I appreciated watching Smoltz in his prime. He was a great competitor. Great career John!

    The question now becomes: 1st Ballot or later ballot?

    I would guess later as the Hall voters simply don’t like to elect first timers unless its a slam dunk (Ripken, Schmidt, etc)

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  7. Todd says:

    My understanding is that Smoltz isn’t interested in being a reliever, and that’s the primary reason teams aren’t signing him.

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  8. Dwight Schrute says:

    As a Tigers fan I’d rather take my chances with Smoltz in the rotation than Willis or Robertson like they are now. It also be kinda cool for his career to come full circle by ending his career with the team that drafted him some 20 years ago.

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  9. Bronnt says:

    The question is if he’s going to do the Roger Clemens-Pedro Martinez thing and try to get a job in June. He’s still better than 90% of the 5th starters in Majors, and a significant portion of the 4th starters as well. How much can he cost?

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