Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Is this the end for John Smoltz?

Terrible news for John Smoltz and his owners ... the 41-year-old Braves pitcher is having season-ending surgery.

It's been a whirlwind season for Smoltzie, who got off to a very hot start to the season before he experienced inflammation in his shoulder. After a stint on the DL, the talk was Smoltz would return to his former role as Atlanta's closer. But after a successful rehab, he blew a save in his first appearance back in the majors, woke up the next day with a sore shoulder, and now he's done for the year.

This is a big blow to anyone who built their rotation around Smoltz, but his owners likely already prepared themselves for the worst when he got hurt the first time. Those who have held onto Rafael Soriano throughout his own lengthy stay on the DL are now rewarded with a guy who could be one of the league's better closers from here on out. If he should falter, Manny Acosta and the soon-to-return Mike Gonzalez might get a shot, but for now, the job is Soriano's to lose.

As for Smoltz, is this the end? Smoltz doesn't think so, but we'll have to wait and see.

Photo by The Associated Press

No comments: