As more and more time passes, I’m starting to think the Minnesota Twins should give John Smoltz a chance to be the team’s closer.
Am I crazy? Has the stress from the flood caused me to go Looney Tunes?
Smoltz will be 43 years old in mid-May and is coming off a
difficult – well, let’s call it what it was, a very BAD – season with Boston and St. Louis last year. He struggled mightily with the Red Sox, but actually posted good numbers with the Cards in his seven starts there.
Smoltz has closing experience with 154 saves during his lengthy career with the Atlanta Braves. And can you believe I’m even suggesting the Twins sign a guy who played in the 1991 World Series? Makes me feel young.
But he’s made just one relief appearance since 2004. So how he would react to being a reliever again, well I don’t really know.
But he still strikes out roughly a batter and inning and keeps his walk numbers down. He was extremely hittable with the Sox (59 hits allowed in 40 innings), but not as much with St. Louis (36 hits in 38 innings).
TBS recently announced that Smoltz would be joining the station’s broadcast team for this season. But one has to assume if a major league offer is out there, he’ll be able to take it.
I like the idea of trading for San Diego Padres closer Heath Bell, but I don’t know what it would take for the Twins to get him.
So why not give Smoltz a look? I’m sure he’d love one last chance to pitch in the playoffs, and the Twins can give him that. They’ll basically hand him the closer’s job if he shows in spring training he still has something left.
I’m sure the Twins are waiting to hear what Joe Nathan will do. Nathan is going to test his elbow this weekend and make a decision as to whether or not he wants to undergo Tommy John surgery or try to pitch through the pain.
If Nathan says Monday he’s done for the season, the Twins should give Smoltz a call. What’s the harm in it?