Should Twins Be Giving Smoltz A Chance?

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?

1 Response

  1. springflood

    I have been going back and forth with Smoltz as well. I have pretty much come to the conclusion that Nathan isn’t pitching in 2010 (even if the Twins haven’t) and aside from maybe Rauch, I don’t now who they expect to put in that role.

    I hear a lot of people saying that the role of closer is overrated, however, when you take into consideration that Nathan had 47 saves last year and the Twins only had 87 wins, the role of closer doesn’t seem too overrated. Sure, Nathan makes a ton of money per inning he works, but it’s worth it when he is usually lights out… or at least he was until August.

    The Twins are going to need to do something. I have heard Guerrier’s name thrown around lately, but he would probably be better of as a setup man than a closer. And I really don’t want to see Liriano moved into the role either, especially if he seems to be getting his stuff back. Plus, the Twins need a lefty in the rotation who’s name isn’t Perkins.

    After considering what little options may be available, signing Smoltz for a season wouldn’t be that bad of a choice.

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