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  • Aug

    john smoltz rehab 1

    The St. Louis Cardinals made another solid move in their push for the 2009 MLB post-season by signing John Smoltz to the league minimum on Wednesday.  Smoltz struggled in 8 starts for the Boston Red Sox during the 2009 MLB schedule.  Smoltz posted a 2-5 record in 40 innings pitched.  He gave up a whopping 37 ER’s and 8 home runs, sporting a hefty 8.32 ERA and 1.70 WHIP.  Smoltz rejected the Red Sox offer to stay in the ‘pen for the rest of the season, and when the Red Sox could not orchestrate a trade with another team, Smoltz became a free agent after this Monday’s deadline.

    The Cardinals will pay Smoltz the pro rate portion of the league minimum for the rest of the season.  The Red Sox are still on the hook for the $5 million deal they signed him to this off-season, less the portion paid by the Cards.

    Smoltz will likely serve as a set-up man for Cards closer Ryan Franklin or as a late inning reliever.  This is a GREAT MOVE for the Cards.  Smoltz was once a closer for the Braves – – so he has the experience there.  Smoltz also seemed to fare better during the 1st few innings of his starts this season – in his last 5 starts for the Red Sox, he did not give up any runs in the 1st 2 innings of any start.  That could mean that Smoltz still has what it takes for an inning or 2, but lose his good stuff or become more predictable the longer he stays in the game.  The Cards are in the driver’s seat with a 6-game lead over the Cubs in the NL Central, and the addition of Smoltz just makes them that much deeper in the bullpen.  With the earlier additions of Mark DeRosa and Matt Holiday, the Cardinals have clearly made some of the best mid-season moves in all of baseball.  Kudos to General Manager John Mozeliak and his staff and Manager Tony LaRussa for putting the pieces together to form one of the best teams in the National League in 2009.

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