Yes, this is 2014. Yes, Scott Kazmir is a talking point for fantasy baseball owners.
Kazmir signed a two-year deal with the Oakland Athletics after missing almost two full years while he tried to sort his “stuff” out. In his last full season before injury, he went 9-15 with a near 6.00 ERA in 28 starts. It was clear that Kazmir’s best years were behind him.
2007 and 2008 with the Tampa Bay Rays (Devil Rays at the time) were his two best seasons, going a combined 25-17 with a 3.48 ERA. He had a career-high 239 strikeouts in 2007. He was voted to be an All-Star in 2008.
In his most recent season with the Cleveland Indians, Kazmir finished 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA. As a result, many fantasy owners will glance right over Kazmir’s name on draft day. He is still a starting pitcher, but should he be a starter in fantasy lineups?
The answer is yes. Despite having a history in injuries, Kazmir can still provide owners with solid numbers from a 20th-round draft pick. He is a very low-risk, high-reward kind of player. Once he shows sign of fatigue or a loss of ball control, you can drop him for a young up-and-comer.
The A’s strength is not in their pitching, but in their offense. The team is capable of scoring five to six runs a game. If Kazmir can hold opponents to three runs over six or seven innings per game, then he will have done his job for the A’s and fantasy owners.
As far as projections go, Kazmir won’t blow you away. If you end up drafting him, he should be used as an off-day fill-in or a fifth starting pitcher. The A’s stadium will help keep some hit balls inside the park and Kazmir’s ERA under 4.00. Expect a 10-9 record with a 3.70 ERA and 150 strikeouts.