Smoltz to be released, somehow has several suitors

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Jon Heyman (and many others) are saying that the Red Sox are going to release John Smoltz today.  Rosenthal has the Dodgers, Cardinals and Marlins as interested.  No chance he’s going back to the Braves, says Mark Bowman, and he provides some statistical reasons to be wary of Smotlz, even as a reliever:

During the first 25 pitches of the eight starts Smoltz made for the Red Sox, he limited opponents to a .257 (9-for-35) batting average, a  .395 on-base percentage and a .286 slugging percentage.   From pitches 26-50, opponents produced a .327 batting average (17-for-52).  And from pitches 51-75, they hit .388 (19-for-49) against him.

Yes, that profiles nicely for short relief, but as Bowman notes, the quick breakdown makes one wonder whether he could be used effectively as a short reliever. A short guy in the pen has to be able to warm up fast, warm up couple of times a game, and pitch a few times a week.  If Smoltz gets gassed do quickly and so totally, I have a hard time seeing him be truly useful out of the pen.

As a Braves fan I love the guy, but as Neyer basically said the other day, if his name were Joe Schmo, no one would be talking about how he could help anybody.

Video: Troy Tulowitzki plays along with a photographer who thought he was a pitcher

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Thursday marked photo day for the Blue Jays. There are always some oddities, usually when the players create fun for themselves. This time, the fun happened when a photographer mistook shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for a pitcher. Tulowitzki rolled with it and followed the photographer’s instructions to pose like a pitcher.

Hazel Mae has the hilarious video:

Hitters, of course, typically pose with a bat over their shoulder. Pitchers typically have their hand in their glove, sometimes leaning forward as if receiving the signs from their catcher.

Tulowitzki has exclusively played shortstop during his 12-year career in the majors, but perhaps one day he’ll step on the mound and be able to call himself a pitcher.