The Phillies are taking a "hard look" at John Smoltz

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So says Jayson Stark. The idea being for Smoltz to be a “back-of-bullpen weapon.”  Given Brad Lidge’s performance last year he could be a Nerf gun and still represent an improvement.

Smoltz has long been on record as preferring starting to coming out of the pen.  Earlier in the week the Nationals reportedly had interest in him.  One would assume that they’d offer him a spot in the rotation — and a mentoring role to Stephen Strasburg — if he were so inclined. But the Nationals are going to lose a lot of games. If he goes to Philadelphia, he can win.

Starting or winning? We’ll soon find out what’s more important to John Smoltz.

Brian Dozier’s shot to center got stuck in the wall at Target Field

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You don’t see this every day …

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier hit a blast to dead-center field in the first inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Tigers and it neither cleared the fence, nor banged off the fence, nor dropped in front of it.

Instead, the ball found a comfortable home inside the wall …

This isn’t the first wall-sticker for Dozier. He put a ball in the bullpen fence in Washington during an exhibition game against the Nationals back in 2016.