The Baseball Prospectus’ Joe Sheehan wrote a provocative column yesterday, listing which ballplayers were destined to disappoint in ’05. Though I’ll resist the usual urge to cut & paste the entire article from this subscriber-based site, I will however, give you a gander at Sheehan’s thoughts on Atlanta’s John Smoltz.
disagree strongly with the Braves’ decision to move John Smoltz back into their rotation. While Smoltz was a very good starting pitcher in his time, he was moved to the bullpen because his elbow couldn’t hold up under the workload. Incomplete seasons in 1998 and 1999 preceded a move to the bullpen, and even there, Smoltz pitched through pain. Watching him in the 2003 Division Series was agonizing.
Smoltz hasn’t made even 30 starts in a season since 1997. His desire to help the Braves win and his belief that he can do a better job of that in the rotation are sincere, but misguided. He’s unlikely to get through the season without at least one DL trip. I figure him for 140 innings, max, with the most likely scenario being a strong start followed by regression and then injury. It will end up as a $10 million hole blown in a roster than just can’t afford that kind of thing any longer.