ATLANTA — After lasting only four innings Sunday in New York, Braves pitcher John Smoltz returned to Atlanta on Monday and is to have his troublesome right shoulder examined on Tuesday.
Smoltz gave up seven hits and four runs in the 6-3 loss to the Mets. He has had concerns about the right shoulder since spring training, but Sunday’s game provided the first evidence he cannot continue to pitch effectively through the discomfort.
Smoltz started the season on the disabled list with tightness in the back of the shoulder. He entered Sunday’s game with an 0.78 earned run average but now faces a possible return to the disabled list.
Smoltz said he couldn’t deliver pitches the way he wanted.
“The next couple of days I should know what paths we’re looking at,” Smoltz said Sunday.
Braves general manager Frank Wren said in an e-mail to The Associated Press Monday night the team learned nothing new about Smoltz on Monday.
“That’s all we have at this time,” Wren said.
The Braves will await an update on Smoltz as Tom Glavine comes off the first DL stint of his career to start tonight’s game at Washington. Glavine is returning from a right hamstring injury.
Meanwhile, another projected member of the rotation, Mike Hampton, is to make a minor league rehabilitation start for Triple-A Richmond on Wednesday in Durham, N.C., as he recovers from a strained pectoral muscle. Hampton suffered the injury as he was warming up in the bullpen on April 3 before what was to be his first start in almost three years as he returns from two elbow surgeries.