Here is what John Smoltz has done so far this year:
While he certainly hasn’t been pitching like he did in his prime, it’s clear that John Smoltz has had a pretty solid year. His K:BB ratio is actually above his career marks, and only an elevated HR/FB ratio is keeping his FIP high. As most people who read this site know, HR/FB is, for the most part, out of a pitchers control. Especially when that pitcher pitches half of his games in front of the Green Monster. If you are a believer in xFIP, which adjusts for that HR/FB luck, then he has been pitching like a league average starter, which is quite a feat while pitching in a hitters ballpark and in the toughest division in baseball.
That makes this, all the more surprising:
Of course, Smoltz’s ERA is 8.33; however, the Red Sox are supposedly one of the more sabermetric friendly organizations out there. Anyway, Smoltz is now free to all teams and could be a good pickup for a contending team with a hole in the starting rotation or bullpen (hint, hint… Cardinals). ZIPS projects a 3.60 FIP the rest of the season, although that seems a little bullish given his advanced age. Still, even adding a half a run per 9 to that projection would still make him a valuable pitcher, and his postseason experience could only be a positive.