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.
The Red Sox and Mariners left nothing on the table Friday night, going head-to-head in a series opener that eventually ended 14-10 in the Sox’ favor. Led by Steven Wright and Wade LeBlanc — neither of whom made it past the fifth inning — the teams combined for 34 hits and four home runs, including two moonshots from Seattle’s Nelson Cruz and a five-run rally that gave Boston the edge in the seventh.
In the sixth inning, however, the Red Sox were still scrambling to make up a four-run deficit. Left fielder J.D. Martinez cut it in half with one swing, pouncing on an 89.5-mph fastball from Seattle right-hander Nick Vincent and posting it to dead center field for a two-run shot.
The 427-foot blast was Martinez’s 23rd of the season, tying Mike Trout for the most home runs in the league this year. While he still has a ways to go before eclipsing the career-best 45-HR mark he set in 2017, he’s off to a strong start this season: Entering Friday’s game, the 30-year-old slugger was batting .315/.386/.623 with a 1.009 OPS and AL-leading 55 RBI in 308 PA. He finished Friday’s game 4-for-5 with five RBI, just one triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
Heading into the All-Star Break, both Martinez and Trout still have some competition for the home run title. Jose Ramirez is sitting at 22 homers, while Nelson Cruz and Khris Davis are tied at 20 apiece.