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Cardinals Sign Smoltz

Migrant Redbird

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St. Louis Post Dispatch: Cards Add Smoltz

I have to chuckle a little at the optimism among Cardinals fans, who seem to be projecting Smoltz's performance on the basis of the guy they've watched pitch for the Braves the last 20 years than the 41-year-old pitcher coming off shoulder surgery who pitched for the Red Sox this season.

St. Louis Sports Forum: Cards sign Smoltz!

Birds on the Bat: Smoltz expected to sign w/ Cards today

The Cardinals GM has said that Smoltz will make his first start in San Diego on Sunday, replacing the 25-year-old Mitchell Boggs, who in turn was replacing the injured Todd Wellemeyer.

I had the temerity to say that I think Boggs might actually give us a better chance to win than Smoltz, which engendered this response.

I don't see how you could say Boggs gives us a better chance to win, unless you are an ERA lover.
That's funny, coming from a "stats guy"! So you think that switching to Dave Duncan as a pitching coach is going to magically lower Smoltz's ERA by almost 4 runs?

I don't think that you have to be an "ERA lover" to think that Boggs might be just slightly better than Smoltz at this stage in their respective careers. The difference might be less than the ERA suggests, but Boggs still has an edge in most categories. Boggs gives up more walks; Smoltz gives up more home runs. Making the start in San Diego might be enough to offset that difference.

PLAYER  PRC   RA   ERA  FIP FIP-ERA xFIP  DER  LD%   GB%   IF/F K/G BB/G HR/G  HR/F P/PA  LOB%Boggs    13  4.82 4.58 3.78  -0.80  4.85 .571 20.3% 48.3% 10.8% 7.3  4.9 0.21  3.2%  3.8 75.7%Smoltz    9  8.33 8.33 4.97  -3.36  4.38 .617 18.1% 42.8%  5.6% 6.8  1.9 1.66 16.5%  3.8 56.9%

The differences aren't that pronounced, so on "any given Sunday", it's possible that Smoltz might pitch a much better game. However, even though we're dealing with small samples, it's still the best we have.

To which Flap responded:

All I learned from that is that Smoltz has put up better periphs pitching against waaaay more difficult competition. I think it's pretty easy to envision Smoltz being nearly a full run better per 9 innings than Boggs, and that's before even considering whether we should be expecting Boggs to regress, considering he wasn't any good in AAA either.
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