Smoltz gets TV gig, isn't retiring

NEW YORK — John Smoltz is embarking on a career as an analyst for Turner Broadcasting and the MLB Network, though he's not quite ready to say he has thrown his final major-league pitch.

"I know the question comes up: Does that mean you retired?" Smoltz, 42, said Tuesday. "Officially no. But in my life when I make a decision about something and I say something, my whole character is to live by it. At this point I'm not officially prepared to say I'm done. But that may not mean anything to the degree that makes me play either."

Smoltz had right shoulder surgery and missed more than a year before Boston activated him in June. He went 2-5 with an 8.32 ERA in eight starts, and the Red Sox released him in August. He signed with St. Louis and was 1-3 with a 4.26 ERA in seven starts.

He turns 43 on May 15, and he spent the offseason playing basketball three times a week and preparing for what would be a 22nd big-league season. With opening day less than a month away, he remains unsigned.

"Obviously, it was a slow offseason free-agent wise. Certain people derived their conclusions about me, and so be it. Fine," he said. "It didn't stop me from working out and doing the things that I love to do."

PROSPECT HAS BRAIN SURGERY: Highly regarded Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland had surgery in Arizona to remove a cavernous malformation in his brain. Westmoreland, 19, is the nephew of Rays home clubhouse/equipment manager Chris Westmoreland. The Red Sox said in a statement that the surgery went well, but the outfielder faces "a difficult period initially before beginning his recovery."

ASTROS: Right-hander Brandon Lyon, the team's projected closer, pitched in a controlled minor-league game and is expected to make his spring debut Thursday. Lyon had a cyst drained in his right shoulder in January.

BREWERS: Left-hander Chris Capuano, trying to come back from his second Tommy John surgery, was shut down with a recurrence of inflammation in his elbow.

DODGERS: Right-handed reliever Cory Wade needs right shoulder surgery and is expected to miss at least three months. Wade, 26, was on the disabled list twice last year with shoulder trouble.

MARINERS: Second overall draft choice Dustin Ackley, 22, was sent to Double-A West Tennessee.

MARLINS: Closer Derrick Turnbow says his chances of making the team are over after he left a game with severe shoulder pain. … Shortstop Hanley Ramirez returned to the lineup after sitting for a day with a tight right groin. … Top outfield prospect Mike Stanton sat out with a sore left elbow, which isn't considered serious.

NATIONALS: Washington ended an 0-11 spring skid with a 12-3 win over the Marlins in a split-squad game in Viera. It then won its second game 4-2 over the Cardinals. … First baseman Adam Dunn left the game after two innings because of a spasm in his lower back and is day to day.

RANGERS: Outfielder Josh Hamilton isn't expected to miss much time after being hit in the left hand with a pitch in Monday's game against the Giants. But second baseman Ian Kinsler, expected to return Friday from a sprained ankle, appears to still be at least a week away from playing in a game.

REDS: Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman is set to make his first spring start this afternoon against the Brewers in a split-squad game. The left-hander, 22, has pitched four scoreless innings in two relief appearances and has touched 100 mph with his fastball.

TWINS: Catcher Joe Mauer, out for four days with a sore right shoulder, got two hits against the Orioles.

WHITE SOX: Outfielder Jared Mitchell will miss the season after surgery on his left ankle. Mitchell, 21, one of the team's top prospects, is expected to make a complete recovery.

Smoltz gets TV gig, isn't retiring 03/16/10 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 12:47am]

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