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Scott Kazmir to pitch in Dominican Winter League

Nov 19, 2011, 8:50 AM EDT

Scott Kazmir AP

Here’s a blast from the relatively recent past.

According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, Scott Kazmir will pitch in the Dominican Winter League with the Escogido Lions.

Kazmir, as you’ll recall, made just one start in the majors this season before the Angels stashed him on the disabled list with a supposed back injury in early April. After he was knocked around the tune of a 17.02 ERA over five minor league rehab starts with Triple-A Salt Lake, the Angels really had no choice but to release him and eat the $9.5 million left on his contract. The Texas native auditioned for a couple clubs this summer, including the Rangers, but nothing ever came of it.

Kazmir doesn’t turn 28 until January, believe it or not, so some team will likely take a chance and give him a spring training invite if he pitches well and proves healthy this winter, but he’s going to be a real project.

  1. Jeremiah Graves - Nov 19, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    I was just preaching for the Twins to give him a whirl a week or so ago.

    His biggest issue always seemed to be that he wanted to strike everyone out and he was horribly inefficient as a result and seemed to really burn up his arm something fierce.

    The Twins are all about pitching to contact, so if they can get him some coaching that finds a way to push the importance of, you know, not purposefully throwing 10-pitches per batter he could still get it together.

    Plus if/when he makes it back to the bigs, playing at Target Field (ie: Petco east) probably ain’t horrible for a dude on the comeback trail either.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Nov 19, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      thoughtful post, I, myself, can’t see the name Kazmir without thinking of the name Zambrano.

  2. jonrambo - Nov 19, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    This guy was amazing when he had it going in Tampa. Not everyone can throw that hard that long and stay healthy. Good luck to him.

  3. kingjoe1 - Nov 19, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    He would be the perfect fit for the phillies. Start him in middle relief and if he gets his stuff back, they have the potential for the best #5 starter in the league.

    • xmatt0926x - Nov 19, 2011 at 2:05 PM

      Yikes. I have to respectfully disagree with the Phillies as an option. The last thing this guy needs is to be put under the constant pressure of a division chase in a small ballpark. This guy needs to slowly rebuild himself (mentally) and refine his mechanics in a low pressure situation, preferrably in a grand canyon of a ballpark.

  4. bobdira - Nov 19, 2011 at 9:52 AM

    Watched him pitch brilliantly in Tampa for 3 seasons and then so poorly that the 6th inning was about all you could get out of him on a good day.

    The problem was his slider was never in the strike zone so hitters laid off and waited on his fastball which they could waste good ones by fouling off and subsequently find one they could drive.

    If he gets the slider back and can throw it for a quality strike, he’ll make it back with promise. Sounds like something the Yankees will be watching closely.

  5. hushbrother - Nov 19, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Maybe he can re-invent himself as a crafty left-hander. Or as a LOOGY.

  6. paperlions - Nov 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM

    He has always walked too many guys, probably in part because of inconsistent mechanics. Once he started having arm troubles, the mechanics went right out the window. Until (if ever) he is completely healthy and focuses on his mechanics and repeating his delivery, he won’t be useful to anyone. Even as a LOOGY, you gotta throw strikes.

  7. notsofast10 - Nov 19, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    The timing of his loss in velocity is very suspicious to me! The tougher PED testing may have contributed to the loss of velocity. Just My Opinion or Thought!

  8. theduuuuuuuuuude - Nov 20, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Kazmir was one of the worst trades the Angels have made in the decade since they won the World Series. It didn’t seem like a bad deal at the time given his track record in Tampa, but he disintegrated once he started pitching for the Halos. A miraculous comeback isn’t necessarily out of the question, but having watched this guy pitch in person several times with the Angels, I wouldn’t go anywhere near Kazmir. Maybe he could reinvent himself as a middle reliever or set-up man but I think his days as a starting pitcher in MLB are long over.

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