Say Goodbye to the Split-Finger Fastball

Veteran righty John Smoltz has returned to the Atlanta Braves pitching staff as a reliever, with the hopes that this move will help him cope with his sore pitching shoulder.

After landing on the DL not once, but twice this season, Smoltz will revisit the closer's spot to avoid a possible career-ending surgery and manager Bobby Cox will hand him the job if he proves effective.

He had 154 saves with the club during his stint as a closer from 2001-04 -- including a league-record 55 saves in 2002 -- though he's worked as a starter for most of his career. But now, as he's been forced to regroup and change the way he throws during his time rehabbing in the minors, he won't be able to use one of his most effective pitches: the split-finger fastball.

"I’m not afraid to experiment," said the 41-year-old Smoltz. "I’m going to have all kinds of deliveries and motions. There’s going to be nothing consistent about what I’m trying to do."
Manny Acosta, it's been real.

Update: He already has a blown save.

[Atlanta Journal-Constitution] | [Braves News] | [The Scoreboards]


Bassmaster said...

Goodbye, split-finger fastball.