I’m sure I speak for many Braves fans when I say that I really want to see John Smoltz back in a Braves uniform for a little bit longer before he hangs up the spikes on a great career. I also speak for those fans in saying that I don’t want to see him play in anything but a Braves uniform should he make the decision to come back for the 2009 season. For all of us, there is encouraging news in the AJC today.
Smoltz threw from a mound on Friday for the first time since his shoulder surgery in June and experienced no pain or discomfort. At this point in his rehab, he has been described as being “way ahead of schedule”. The official answer from the Braves at the current time is that they cannot yet count on Smoltz for the 2009 season, but it appears that his rehab is at least coming along fairly well. It seems that Bobby Cox is very confident that Smoltz will be back on the mound for the 2009 season, saying, “oh, he’ll be back — no doubt in my mind”.
Though saying that he can’t yet count on Smoltz for 2009, Frank Wren has indicated that he hopes to offer him a contract when he reaches a point in his throwing program that it seems like he will be ready to pitch again. It’s good to see that 5 arm surgeries throughout his career have not killed the desire in Smoltz to get the Braves back to postseason play.
It’s not yet clear what role Smoltz would take up on the pitching staff and I presume that a lot of that would depend on how the rest of his rehab program goes. He has, however, indicated that he would be willing to return in any role that would be helpful to the team, though he would love to return to the rotation. Whether it be as a starter, in the bullpen, or as the closer, I’d be more than happy to see Smoltz back out at Turner Field.
So what do you think? Will we see Smoltz back in 2009? Will he be back in a Braves uniform? What role do you see him serving on the pitching staff?
Tags: Injuries, John Smoltz, Pitching, Rehab, Surgery
Posted in Injuries | 4 Comments »