It is not the season that will determine Scott Kazmir’s future with Anaheim, its Spring Training. That’s not easy for someone who is typically penciled into the starting rotation.
So far he’s 50/50 on appearances which it a big improvement on last years numbers. I will not get into the specifics, but when it comes down to the nitty gritty, baseball is about numbers.
It doesn’t matter if you were once a first round pick with a blazing fastball, injuries and worst of all doubt, catches up to you.
Kazmir is obviously struggling and his numbers, an ERA of 4.89 and 5.94 in 09’ and 10’, confirm that. So far the spring has seen the good and bad that Kazmir has to offer.
In his first spring training start against the Los Angeles Dodgers he gave up three runs and five hits in two innings. His second start was a tad better to say the least. Friday, Kazmir held the Chicago White Sox to a couple hits while throwing 24 of his last 37 pitches for strikes.
Aside from injuries, command has been the downfall of this former first round pick of the New York Mets. Velocity has also been an issue which is not all that surprising considering all the wear and tear (8 years and only 27 years old) in over 1,000 innings.
A mediocre fastball means pinpoint control from this point on. The struggles he has faced since leaving Tampa is a direct correlation to one not knowing his true abilities until they are needed.
Hitters are aware of each pitchers weakness and I can confidently say the league knows Kazmir’s downfall—base on balls.
Kazmir has an opportunity to prove all the naysayers wrong and show that he deserves a spot in the starting rotation. This guy was a number one starter in Tampa and held his own when he had nothing to work with.
The last few years have been a strain but in the long run it will make him a better pitcher. That’s all a true fan can ask for.
For previous analysis on Scott Kazmir, click the links below.
Devon is the founder of The GM’s Perspective