MLB Legends

John Smoltz

  • Team: Atlanta Braves
  • Birthdate: May 15, 1967 in Warren, MI
  • Rookie Season: 1988
  • Positions: SP/RP

2003 Season

Team W-L SV ERA G CG SHO IP H ER BB K
Braves 0-2 45 1.12 62 0 0 64.3 48 8 8 73
Career List 163-20 110 3.29 529 47 14 2618.0 2252 957 816 2313

2003 Recap:

John Smoltz was on pace to break the single-season save record in 2003, with 44 saves through mid-August, but elbow tendonitis cut his regular season short.  Smoltz enjoyed his best season as a reliever last year, using a high-90s fastball, a sinker and slider to fool nearly every hitter.  However, 2003 marked the first time in his 15-year career that he didn’t record a single win.

Why YOU SHOULD WATCH HIM IN 2004:

Will John Smoltz be a starter or a closer?  He wants the former, but the Braves want the latter.  Even if he doesn’t get what he wants, he’s not the kind of guy who will let it bother him.  However, he does have a point – if the Braves can’t hold a lead to get him the ball, he won’t be of any use.  With the starting pitching the weakest it’s been since nearly a decade, Smoltz may have to move into the starting five to make up for the losses of Kevin Millwood, Tom Glavine, and now this year, Greg Maddux.  Either way, he should be dominant.

IS HE HALL OF FAME MATERIAL?

With the admittance of Dennis Eckersley into the Hall of Fame this year, a case can now be made for John Smoltz, should he stay with the closer role.  However, Eckersley won 197 games and saved 390 more – Smoltz has won 160 and saved 110.  At the pace he’s at, in a few years, he could get near 300 saves by the time he’s 40.  Chances are, Smoltz won’t make it, but if the voting committee changes its mind on how it views closers, Smoltz may have a better-than-average chance of making it in someday.

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