Smoltz: Next Big Project For Dave Duncan?

Paul CopelandCorrespondent IAugust 19, 2009

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 2:  Manager Tony La Russa #10 (L) and pitching coach Dave Duncan #18 of the St. Louis Cardinals watch as the New York Mets take a four run lead in the first inning during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium on March 2, 2006 in Jupiter, Florida. The Mets defeated the Cards 12-7.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

John Smoltz did not turn out to be the solid veteran closing out the rotation for the Red Sox as they had hoped he would be. His stats this season have been nothing but embarrassing, but did Boston dismiss him too soon?

John Smoltz was not necessarily consistently bad. He constantly started games well falling behind after a few innings. His days as a starter may be over, but why not give him a chance in the pen?

Now that Smoltz is about to clear waivers to become a free agent, he has stated that not only would he rather play in the National League but also feels the Cardinals would be a good fit.

As far as I am concerned, the Red Birds are a great fit. With miracle worker Dave Duncan working as the pitching coach, Smoltz may be able to find life in his game that he didn't know he had. If he has anything left to give, Duncan will utilize it.

The Cardinals could also use another arm in the pen to get the ball into their all-star closer Ryan Franklin's hands. Although, it may not be the job Smoltz wants it may be the job he is best suited for right now.

However, the Cardinals are also looking for a fifth starter. I don't think it would be best to place him in the rotation at first, but it would be nice to have that option in the last month and playoffs.

But apart from all that he can do just as a pitcher, he also adds something to the Cardinals that they could use in the playoffs, veteran experience. The St. Louis Cardinals of 2006 were a very different team. Their are a lot of new faces mixed with only a handful of leaders that were there last time. Smoltz hasn't just been to the playoffs once; he has been their several times. His knowledge and experience would so much to the entire pitching staff whose only veteran leader is Chris Carpenter.

In the end, I hope this deal gets done for both parties's sake.