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John Smoltz: What's Left in the Tank?

John Smoltz is now a free-agent. Will he retire or get a job in someone's bullpen? If someone does pick him up, what's he got left?

Not much, I'm afraid.

From the land of small samples ...

2009 fastball

  • lost speed compared to 2007 & 2008
  • less whiffs
  • more flies, less grounders
  • more homers

2009 slider

  • less sluttery than the 2007 & 2008 version
  • more strikes
  • less whiffs
  • more flies, less pop-ups

2009 splitter

  • same pitch as 2007 & 2008
  • less whiffs
  • more strikes
  • more liners, no homers

2009 curveball

  • same pitch as 2007 & 2008
  • more strikes
  • still a good whiff rate
  • still not put in play much

Smoltz' speed plot is somewhat depressing, and his run values per 100 pitches doesn't look any better.

In this plot time is on the x-axis (not labeled). You can see the gap between 2008 and 2009 when he wasn't piching.


Fenway has been reading high for pitch speed this year, so what you see above for 2009 may be an optimistic view of Smoltz' velocity range.


Again, small samples bring their noise to the run values, but Smoltz has been getting killed by his fastball. Does that sound like something you want hanging around in your favorite contender's bullpen?