Treading water around .500 and in fourth place in the NL East, the Atlanta Braves received some promising news on Sunday.
Smoltz threw for the first time in two weeks as he recovers from inflammation of the rotator cuff and biceps tendon. He made 25 throws to bullpen catcher Eddie Perez from flat ground.
"I know how the ball felt coming out of my hand, and I felt like I could pitch tomorrow," Smoltz said, according to the newspaper.
Soriano had a 10-minute bullpen session.
"It felt good," he said, according to the AJC. "A little sore, but better than before."
Soriano, who is battling elbow tendinitis, cut short his last session on Tuesday due to discomfort.
Soriano was slated to be the Braves closer this season, but he has appeared in only four games and has just one save.
Smoltz began the season in the rotation and was 3-2 with a 2.00 ERA before going on the disabled list. He plans to come back in the bullpen to save wear and tear on his arm. He's taken that route before, saving 154 games from 2001-04 after winning the Cy Young in 1996 as a starter.
"If I can continue to not feel [pain or discomfort] and expect it's going to be fine, then certainly this transition will be a lot better than I can imagine," Smoltz said, according to the newspaper.