It's too bad about John Smoltz, who announced today that he'll need season-ending shoulder surgery. Too bad for the Braves, too, because they could have used the lift that Smoltz's full return would have provided.
But the Smoltz news didn't catch the Braves by surprise. Not hardly.
Even last weekend in Cincinnati, when Smoltz was going through what seemed like a successful minor-league rehabilitation assignment, manager Bobby Cox never sounded overly optimistic. When I asked about Smoltz, Cox kind of shook his head and said: "I don't know. That shoulder, it's pretty bad."
He was right. That shoulder was pretty bad. Smoltz tried to pitch through the pain, but it just didn't work. Now he'll have surgery, and the Braves will move on.