Scott Kazmir’s final start of the season wasn’t run to write home about about; 4.2 innings, two earned runs, three hits, six walks, three strikeouts. But considering this is the final start of his comeback season, the fact that he is on the mound getting professional hitters out is something to write home about.
Last year, after only one start with the Los Angeles Angels he was all but written off as one of those “what could’ve been” stories.
A former first-round pick of the New York Mets in 2002 was traded shortly there after by the Mets with Jose Diaz to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for Bartolome Fortunato and Victor Zambrano.
That deal, regardless of how badly it turned out for the Mets, allowed Kazmir to flourish and lead a young Rays team. He became their ace, and a two-time All-Star. With an influx of Rays talent and a plethora of injuries, Kazmir was dealt to the Angles in 2009 and posted some decent numbers including a 1.73 ERA in six starts.
Unfortunately, 2010 and 2011 were not good and we witnessed firsthand the slow and agonizing decline of a once promising career.
A combined 9-15 record and an ERA over 6.10 led to his release. There was very little documented after but Kazmir made headlines when he signed a contract with the Independent Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League.
In 14 games, Kazmir has a 3-6 record in 64 innings. His velocity has been hovering around 92mph and 93mph according to his twitter account, and his 51 strikeouts should solidify that information.
His control which has been an issue in the past has reared its ugly head at times during his stint in Sugar Land. But his greatness has as well. Kazmir has had a recent stretch of outings where he allowed four total free passes in four starts. And his ERA which began at 18.00 has slowly crept down below 5.30.
The Indy’s are not MLB, we all know that, but considering Kazmir did not pitch for 18 months, what he has accomplished with little fan fare is something to be extremely proud of and should warrant and MLB Spring Training invite.
He has at least earned that.
Devon is the Founder and Executive Director of The GM's Perspective. He is a former professional baseball player with the River City Rascals & 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.