Thirteen months with no professional baseball can seem like an eternity, but for Scott Kazmir, it’s just another bump in the road on the return to glory.
Two starts into his comeback tour with the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, Kazmir was sporting an ERA of 36.00.
Probably not the best number when you're looking to return the big leagues.
Things finally turned around on Saturday, when Kazmir went four scoreless innings against the Long Island Ducks.
Sitting at 0-2 after two starts, the last thing Kazmir could afford was to blow up for a third consecutive time, because the likelihood of making it to five would have been very small. Kudos to him for continuing to go out there; many would have given up a long time ago.
In front of nearly 6,500 people, Kazmir threw a total of 64 pitches (41 for strikes) and held the Ducks scoreless while ringing up three and walking none. According to Newsday, he was topping out at “88-89 miles per hour.”
And that’s an improvement when compared to the pedestrian 86 miles per hour he was recording when he last stepped on the mound for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
This is only one game, but a colossal step in the right direction for someone who was nearly written off by the entire baseball community.
Kazmir expressed his sentiments after his outing Saturday (via Newsday):
"I felt a lot more in control," he said. "My first two outings, I was kind of dusting off the cobwebs. It's been a while since I've been out there competing against hitters. You can throw bullpen sessions as much as you want, but once you get out there with live hitters, it's different."
Regardless of whether he makes it all the way back, it’s really a thrill if you’re a Skeeters fan because you’re in the midst of one heck of a journey.
Someone had to go through some very strenuous circumstances to go from MLB to the Atlantic League in the course of a year, but imagine how fulfilling it will be when he toes the rubber in the show one more time.
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.