Awaiting The Arrival: The John Smoltz Chapter

Thomas H.Correspondent IMay 25, 2009

FORT MYERS,FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 22: John Smoltz #29 of the Boston Red Sox poses during photo day at the Red Sox spring training complex on February 22, 2009 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by: Nick Laham/Getty Images)

When John Smoltz came to Boston, my first thought "Another Schilling?"

Yes, at first I was wondering if John could be what Curt Schilling was in 2004, when he led the Sox into the World Series even though he was an aging veteran who had already had his glory years.

Well, I might be off. My heart started sinking a little when I saw he still wasn't ready in late May.

Its hard to believe that we paid 5.5 million dollars for John Smoltz, the 20 year veteran who spent his glory days with the 1990’s Atlanta Braves.

Well, now the Red Sox fans can finally start to believe. John Smoltz recently had a pitching debut with the Class A affiliate of the Red Sox down in Greenville, South Carolina.

The team is saying he will start for the Double A Portland Seadogs on Tuesday, which lets most of us (including myself) breathe for a moment. Finally, one of our key pitching acquisitions is in the mix.

To tell you the truth, when pitchers Brad Penny and John Smoltz were picked up in the offseason, my gut told me that John Smoltz would be much more reliable and the team would see Brad Penny as troubled pitcher who could easily get injured.

I should have smacked myself.

Brad Penny, though his ERA is a poor 6.07, has me pleased to see his record at 4-1. What's troubling is his strikeout to walk ratio, a poor 22-17.

Still, if Penny could keep this up and Wakefield keeps up with his remarkable start the pitching rotation looks quite strong, even without Dice-K.