Thursday March 27, 2008
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) -- John Smoltz threw in the bullpen for
about 20 minutes as if preparing for a game today and called the
session his best day of the spring.
Smoltz said he is on track to make his first start on April 6th
and said he had no recurrence of the shoulder stiffness he suffered
last Friday, forcing him to be held out of a scheduled start. Smoltz said, "I just needed some time for it to settle down. It has settled down. Now I'll approach it like anything else. I'll take two days off, come down here and throw and just have my eyes on my next start on Sunday."
Smoltz is expected to start the season on the disabled list, but
because he hasn't appeared in a major league game since March 15th,
his time on the disabled list can be backdated nine days.
Today's bullpen session provided assurance Smoltz won't have to
miss more time than planned. He played soft catch in the outfield
when he tested the shoulder for the first time on Tuesday, but he
threw with normal effort today.
Smoltz plans to come back to the Braves spring complex to throw
in a minor league game and remain on schedule for the April 6th
start in Atlanta against the New York Mets. The Braves, who open
their season on Sunday at Washington, have an off day on Tuesday
and won't need a fifth starter before the April 6 game.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)