Former first-round pick Scott Kazmir, who had so much promise as a gun-slinging lefty, has faced some tough times the past few years.
Once regarded as one of the best left-handers in the game, he has been cast aside after putting up numbers that make you cringe at the sight of them.
In 29 appearances spanning 2010 and 2011, Kazmir gave up 104 earned runs in 152 innings. That's an ERA of 6.18. Mix in a lack of control (81 walks over that span) and velocity that decreased over 7 mph since his rookie year, and you have a recipe for disaster.
Kazmir’s last stop was in Anaheim. He was brought in to solidify an already polished rotation and to strengthen them for the playoffs. Unfortunately, the Scott Kazmir from Tampa was no longer. In three postseason appearances with the Angels, he went winless and put up an ERA of nearly 8.00 in 11 innings. Eight walks did nothing but contribute to his downfall.
In June of last year, Anaheim released Kazmir after he posted an atrocious 17.02 ERA in his five rehab starts for Salt Lake. Since then, you really haven’t heard much about him. It’s rare when someone with Kazmir’s credentials is out of a job for so long, regardless of how good or bad the numbers are.
The mighty have fallen—yes, but this might be just the thing to propel Kazmir into the spotlight once again. Look at Shawn Hill from the independent York Revolution. He last played Major League baseball in 2010 for the Toronto Blue Jays. He put together 28 scoreless innings and was recently signed to play again for the Jays.
Not yet 30, it’s hard to believe someone’s career could be over so early. But if Kazmir regains even just a little bit of his former self, there will be plenty of scouts from playoff contenders attending this first-year franchise’s games come August.
Devon is the founder and executive director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals and Gateway Grizzlies. Currently, Devon is a manager at a financial institution in Northern Ontario, Canada, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow The GM's Perspective on Twitter and Facebook. His full bio can be seen here.