On Saturday Cleveland Indians skipper Terry Francona will hand the ball to a guy that has not pitched in the majors in two years, Scott Kazmir.
The lefty began his career at age 20 in 2004. He was highly touted and pitched rather well for the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays for four seasons. Things started to go downhill in 2009 and he had his worst season in 2010, with the Los Angeles Angels which featured an earned run average approaching 6.00.
In 2011, back problems and a loss of velocity led to Kazmir making just one start, an awful outing where he lasted just 1 2/3 innings and allowed five earned runs. He would pitch five games in AAA and would lose all five and had an ERA of 17.02. He averaged just over three innings per start. 2012 saw him playing independent ball for the Sugarland Skeeters, the same team Roger Clemens pitched on. His ERA was still high at 5.34.
What the Indians saw in him I’m not sure, but he received an invite to spring training and pitched rather well, until a rib cage injury sidelined him late in camp.
So now we see the Indians taking a chance on the former phenom Kazmir because they are in desperate need of some solid pitching. They have struggled out of the gate at 5-10 and pitching has been a big reason why. Ubaldo Jimenez has been atrocious and Brett Myers has been only slightly better. If Kazmir can give them six decent innings at this point the team will take it. The Indians might get a few okay games out of Kazmir, but I don’t see him returning to his pre-2009 form. They will eventually need to look outside of the organization for help.