Braves ace John Smoltz was scratched from his start on Friday with some soreness in his right shoulder. Smoltz did not seem concerned about the soreness and team officials seemed to confirm that belief stating that the soreness was nothing more than regular soreness most 40-year-old power pitchers would feel. While Manager Bobby Cox did say that there was a possibility that Smoltz could start the season on the DL, he didnt seem to worried about the pain either, stating, "He'll be fine," when asked about the shoulder.
We wouldn't worry too much about this injury. Many venues are making a much bigger deal of this than it needs to be. Smoltz is a battler and a fiery competitor, come the start of the season he'll be out there, ready to go. Smoltz has battled soreness in his shoulder for years now, yet that hasn't kept him from leading the Major Leagues in Quality Starts withe 50 over the last two seasons. A full season of Mart Teixeira's offense can only help add to Smoltz's win total for the 2008 season.
Keep drafting Smoltz where you normally would, after the aces go, and in the beginning of where the second tier pitchers are being drafted. Sure there will be questions about his health, but the bottom line is production, and Smoltz still delivers like an ace.
Seriously, at worst what is going to happen. Does anyone really think Smoltz will shut it down and have surgery in the middle of the season? He is 40 years old, and in the twilight of his career. He'll keep throwing till the blows out his arm and can't throw any more.
Does anyone remember years ago Smoltz needed Tommy John surgery and he wound up altering his delivery so he could stay out there and keep pitching? Thats the type of guy Smoltz is. He's a smart guy and fierce competitor who will stay out there no matter what happens.