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Scott Kazmir appears to be the front-runner for Cleveland’s fifth starter spot

Mar 15, 2013, 8:50 AM EDT

Scott Kazmir pitching

I noted the general enthusiasm surrounding Scott Kazmir when I was at Indians camp last week. Now a guy who is at Indians camp every day notes that this enthusiasm has grown to the point where, in his view, the fifth starter’s spot on the Tribe is Kazmir’s to lose. Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon-Journal:

Francona has offered few hints as to which way he is leaning, if he’s leaning at all. The only clue that he might favor one pitcher over another is his continuous glowing praise for Kazmir, virtually from the first time he threw a ball in camp. And Kazmir certainly seems like the front-runner, even if one disregards Francona’s tributes.

One just needs to look at the numbers. Kazmir has pitched three times in exhibition games and one B-game against minor leaguers. He hasn’t allowed any runs and his peripherals look solid. Granted it hasn’t all been against top opposition, but his velocity and control looks good.

Kazmir could flame out again and, if he does, the Indians haven’t really lost a thing. But if he’s even an average starter in 2013 it’s a huge boon to them. And to him too.

 

  1. unclemosesgreen - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Cool story – definitely rooting for this guy. He was so good once upon a time.

    • indaburg - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:29 AM

      Agreed. He had such amazing stuff and seemingly overnight, poof. It disappeared. I remember how much Mets fans consternated losing him for Zambrano and Fortunato back in the day.

      • dondada10 - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:56 AM

        The sky fell that day for Mets fans. We were under .500 and traded away a prized pitching prospect for the (at the time) wrong Zambrano.

        Part of the reasoning was that Rick Peterson had speculated that Kazmir’s shoulder was gonna fall apart. It did, but not until he had netted some great seasons in the A.L.

        The crazy thing is, that wasn’t even the worst move the Mets made that day. In an effort to acquire Kris Benson, the Mets traded Justin Huber to the Royals for Jose Bautista. They then packaged Joey Bats to Pittsburg.

    • stlouis1baseball - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      On point Moses. Le’s hope this continues.
      All hail Scott Kazmir!

  2. chacochicken - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    Who cares about the WBC? Wait, sorry. Yeah, if Kazmir can approach something like his good years he’d make for a good #5. I wish him well.

  3. proudlycanadian - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    He has to beat out Matsuzaka and Bauer for the #5 spot. I suspect that he will make it and will have a good season. Masterson and Jimenez are the real question marks in the Cleveland rotation. I expect that fairly early into the season, that Bauer will replace one of them.

  4. digbysellers - Mar 15, 2013 at 9:50 AM

    Good story about Kaz, although it seems to me that a year or three from now we could be reading the same type of articles about Jimenez. He hasn’t fallen off the cliff like Kaz did a few years back, but he’s gradually sliding down the slope and can’t seem to get it back.

  5. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Jimenez hasn’t fallen off the cliff like Kazmir because he was never that high. He essentially had one really good half season. Kazmir had 3 or 4 really good to good seasons..

  6. cur68 - Mar 15, 2013 at 11:24 AM

    Last season it was Zito coming back from the pumpkin patch. This season. . . Kazmir? Shit, I hope so. Good luck, bro.

  7. asimonetti88 - Mar 15, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Great to hear and I hope he makes it and is successful. Too bad he couldn’t make it work on the Halos a few years ago!

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