John Smoltz will become the third member of the Atlanta Braves’ 1990s pitching staff to join the Hall of Fame next weekend. But he told the Daily News’ Daniel Popper the current Mets staff is “way better” than the one that included Smoltz and Hall of Famers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine (July 16).
“They’re way better,” Smoltz told Popper. “They’ve got more talent than we could ever have.”
But Smoltz cautioned the Mets’ Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz may not have the opportunity to stay intact and mature together the same way the Braves’ staff was able to 20 years ago. He cited inning limits, Tommy John surgery and the salary structure.
“The opportunities that exist today won’t allow a lot of staffs to find out what kind of staff they can be, ” Smoltz told Popper. That’s the shame of the game. The injuries have taken over. The inability to learn how to pitch (and) fast-tracking a lot of kids
“There’s no doubt that the dynamic arms are way better than we’ve ever seen. And the issue is how long can we keep them healthy and how long can they stick together financially? What we did in the era that we did, we take a lot of pride in it. We worked really hard and we didn’t miss a lot of starts.
“We’ve anointed people a little too quickly in this game. And they don’t have the ability to wait and learn and have a fair shake at the game. . .Everybody wants quick results, expectations through the roof. And that’s what these guys are fighting today. They’re not giving them a chance to fail too often. And when they do, what happens?”