Tag Archives: John Smoltz

Braves going down like…Braves

Not only the the Braves lose tonight 10-5 to the Cubs, but Tom Glavine is going back to the DL:

CHICAGO — Tom Glavine made his first career visit to the disabled list earlier this season. The Braves’ veteran southpaw is headed back to the DL with an injured left elbow.

Glavine was removed after three ineffective innings against the Cubs on Tuesday night. The Braves later announced that he has a strained left elbow.

During Tuesday’s start, Glavine allowed four earned runs and six hits. The 42-year-old hurler needed 30 pitches to escape a two-run second inning and another 25 pitches to end a two-run third inning.

This was Glavine’s first appearance at Wrigley Field mound since using it to gain his 300th career victory on Aug. 5 of last year.

That’s gotta stab the hearts of Braves fans. Smoltz last week, Glavine this week. Everyone knew Atlanta would be hit or miss this season. The roster has a lot of risk built into it. Unfortunately, it may not pay off for Cox and crew.

Smoltz out for year

According to 790 The Zone sports radio in Atlanta via Sabernomics, John Smoltz will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery after attempting a comeback in the bullpen this year. Huge blow for Atlanta here. More to come…

Soriano, Smoltz nearing return

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Braves closer Rafael Soriano might return today. Soriano has been out since the second week of the season with elbow tendonitis. Joining him in the bullpen soon could be John Smoltz, who has indicated that “he doesn’t believe that his shoulder will withstand the rigors of pitching five or six innings as a starter without more trips to the DL.” Smoltz will join the Braves on their upcoming roadtrip to Milwaukee and Cincinnati.

Smoltz return could be delayed

According to ESPN.com, Braves RHP John Smoltz might not return this month, as was previously reported.

“It could be anywhere between the [late May] timetable I discussed and a lot longer,” Smoltz told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for Monday’s editions.

If Smoltz is delayed much more, expect the Braves to look for bullpen help, either within the organization or outside.

How ’bout those standings

It’s May 12, and the Florida Marlins are in first place.

That’s right, for the second week in a row, the team that just unloaded its sensational third baseman and its pitching ace is atop a division that includes the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.

A fluke? Not at all.

This is just one of the surprising storylines that has made this start to the 2008 season one of the more interesting that I can remember. Here are the storylines, one per team, that are making baseball fans scratch their heads right now:

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Braves hurlers recovering

Braves injury update, courtesy of the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

John Smoltz – Planning on going straight to the pen upon his return, the right-hander still has yet to do any light throwing. According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Bobby Cox doesn’t know whether or not he will begin tossing a ball this weekend.

Rafael Soriano – Soriano is closer to getting back. He had a catch yesterday and could throw a bullpen session this weekend.

Mike Gonzalez – He’s throwing in extended spring training and could be back by the end of May. According to the AJC, Gozalez “needed just nine pitches (eight strikes) to record three outs…The lefty’s fastball was clocked at 90 mph, and Braves officials reported he ‘felt good.’ His next outing is tentatively scheduled for Monday in Florida.”

How about them standings

Great week for the division. The NL East is hot; only the Marlins came in at under .500 for the past 10 games. The last-place Nationals are just 4 games out, and are 8-2 in their last 10. The Phillies may still lead the division, but the Mets and Marlins are just a half a game out.

Some of the league’s finest talent plays in the division, and this cream of the crop is setting the pace in 2008. Chipper Jones leads the league in Batting Average with a whopping .421 so far. Chase Utley leads in home runs, with 13; Pat Burrell is tied for second with 9. Burrell is also second for RBIs, with 28. Utley and Jones lead the league in OPS, with 1.193 and 1.189 respectively. Marlins starter Mark Hendrickson is second in the league for wins, with 5 so far. Of the pitchers with WHIPs in the top 10, 4 are in the NL East: Johan Santana, Tim Hudson, Jair Jurjjens, and Cole HamelsBilly Wagner leads the league in Batting Average Against (.070). And Wagner, Brad Lidge, and Jon Rauch are tied for fifth in the league for saves, notching 7 to this point.

As expected, the division is shaping up to be extremely competative down the stretch. Look for the Marlins to cool off as their young pitching exhausts itself, and for the Braves to heat up as key players such as John Smoltz and Mike Hampton return. The Mets have nowhere to go but up, the Phillies continue to be led by career years by both Chase Utley and Pat Burrell, and even the Nationals are playing good baseball at present.

Here are the standings through Monday May 5:

Philadelphia: 18-14

New York: 16-13, 0.5 GB

Florida: 17-14, 0.5 GB

Atlanta: 15-15, 2 GB

Washington: 14-18, 4 GB

-Jonathan Kraft