Reader Jim Gaither just sent a link to this article in Monday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution. From the article:
Smoltz will sit down with Braves manager Bobby Cox and pitching coach Leo Mazzone this week and discuss the season. He wants to pitch on a more structured schedule, although that could mean pitching in some one-sided games and skipping an occasional save opportunity.
In the past, he only wanted to pitch in save situations or with games on the line, and Cox obliged. That meant Smoltz sometimes went a week without pitching and other times entered five games in six days.
“I can’t do what I did the last two years,” he said. “I can’t go eight days without throwing. There may be days off, where in the past two years I may have taken the ball. Just because I have to be smarter [after surgery].”
This means that newly-acquired jack-of-all-trades Chris Reitsma will probably see some save opportunities. Last season, Smoltz pitched on 3+ days’ rest 13 times, and went 0-2 with a 2.84 ERA and 8 saves in 10 tries. When he pitched with two days’ rest or fewer, his ERA was 0.70 and he was 37-for-39 in save opportunities.