ESPNews reports the Atlanta Braves placed starting pitcher John Smoltz (shoulder) on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday, April 29.
Smoltz had his troublesome right shoulder examined Tuesday, April 29, after lasting only four innings Sunday, April 27, against the New York Mets. Orthopedist Dr. James Andrews determined that Smoltz has a serious inflammation in his biceps tendon along with an inflamed rotator cuff.
The 40-year-old has had issues with his shoulder since spring training and started the season on the disabled list with tightness in the back of his shoulder. Despite his arm issues in 2008, Smoltz has recorded an ERA of 2.00 with 36 strikeouts and just eight walks in 27 innings pitched.
The good news for the Braves is they have starting pitcher Tom Glavine (hamstring) back from the 15-day disabled list to start Tuesday, April 29, and he will take his normal spot in the rotation. Before his stint on the disabled list, Glavine posted a 2.38 ERA while striking out six and walking six.
Starting pitcher Mike Hampton (pectoral) could also return soon. The oft-injured hurler will make a rehab start for Triple-A Richmond Wednesday, April 30; if everything goes as planned, he could be called up. With Smoltz on the DL, the Braves could throw Hampton straight into the starting rotation if he proves to be healthy.
Pitchers Chuck James and Jeff Bennett are other potential replacements if Smoltz misses more time than expected.
James has an ERA of 7.62 with 10 strikeouts and seven walks in 13 innings pitched. He has been up with the big club for several stints this season, starting three games and compiling a 2-1 record. The lefty has also experienced shoulder issues and was placed on the disabled list to start the season. He was optioned to Triple-A Richmond Friday, April 25, but could be recalled after the injury to Smoltz.
Bennett has started three games for the team this year and appeared in 10 games; he has 19 strikeouts and 14 walks while tallying an ERA of 4.05 in 26 2/3 innings pitched. He also has one hold.
The seriousness of Smoltz's injury is not yet known; fantasy owners are forced to put Smoltz on a DL spot and track his progress. If he's available, Glavine could be a suitable short-term substitution for Smoltz owners, and he has the potential to contribute for a longer duration as a low-end fantasy starter.
Keep posted to see who receives the call to replace Smoltz. Hampton could be the team's replacement, but it would be unwise to count on him for fantasy purposes because he has not pitched in a major league ballgame since 2005. James has seen the most time in the rotation, and Bennett has only started five games in his career.
About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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