PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – MLB Network analyst and Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz joined “The Fan Morning Show” on Thursday to talk about the Pirates.

During the interview, he lent his insight into what might be going on with Andrew McCutchen.

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McCutchen has struggled mightily this season, and Smoltz said that even the tiniest issue can lead to major slumps at the major league level.

“Baseball’s a cruel game,” Smoltz said. “And it’s a game where sometimes, whatever mechanically or physically is off a little bit can take you away from some of the things that make you great.”

It’s been a very frustrating season for McCutchen, but like most, Smoltz doesn’t see this continuing forever.

“A player with that kind of talent, and certainly the career he’s had, one would think that he eventually is going to return closer to that career than farther away,” Smoltz said. “I’m a big believer that when a guy is great, and very athletic, and can return healthy, that he can get back to that point.”

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Smoltz said that fans and analysts tend to make a lot of assumptions in these situations, but usually don’t know about everything that’s going on.

“I don’t know all the details,” Smoltz said. “It’s just like when I played. Nobody knew all the details. There’s times where I got brutally criticized for things that nobody knew was about to happen in the offseason that meant surgery. Sometimes you have to just kind of quietly go about your business and take whatever comes down your way, and then ultimately, people will realize whatever’s going on.”

Smoltz will be on MLB Network’s broadcast of tonight’s Cardinals at Cubs game at 8 p.m., alongside Matt Vasgersian and Tom Verducci. Visit findmlbnetwork.com for your local channel listings.

The interview can be heard here:

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