Get that monkey off your back and things begin to work themselves out.
For the most part, that’s what it seems like for Scott Kazmir and his comeback with the Independent Sugar Land Skeeters.
Only a few days after picking up his first professional win in over two years, Kazmir picked up his second straight victory. He went five-plus innings, allowed two earned runs on seven hits, struck out eight and walked one.
The wins are phenomenal considering how far he has fallen, but the biggest thing scouts and affiliated organizations should take note of is the reduction of walks. That was Kazmir’s Achilles' heel when things began to turn against him late in 2009 and in 2010.
In his last three starts, Kazmir has picked up two wins and pitched well enough to win all three. And in those three starts, he’s pitched just under 20 innings, given up eight earned runs (3.75 ERA), struck out 13 and walked three.
Considering he did not pitch for 13 months, consistent playing time will only improve the situation. He will get more familiar to pitching in live games and the velocity—something that was a concern—will increase along with his arm strength.
According to Kazmir’s Twitter account, he was topping out at 93 miles per hour:
I saw a couple at 93. Radio announcer says its 2 mph slow. Lol I'm gonna go with with the radio guy says!!
If he continues to improve, it might be just a matter of time before the big clubs take notice. Could we see an MLB spring training invite on the horizon? I sure hope so.
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.