Tag:Scott Kazmir
Posted on: May 24, 2011 9:30 pm
Edited on: May 24, 2011 9:42 pm
 

Kazmir brutal in rehab start

By Matt Snyder

Scott Kazmir has made just one start in the majors this season -- an awful outing on April 3 in which he allowed five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings -- and it doesn't appear he'll get another one anytime soon. After being shelved with a back injury, he made his first rehab start Tuesday evening. It did not (understatement alert!) go well.

In just 1 2/3 innings -- hey, maybe he's starting a trend -- Kazmir gave up six earned runs. He managed just 24 strikes in 50 pitches, walking four and hitting another. (Box score on MiLB.com)

Considering the Angels are pretty set with the five-man rotation of Jered Weaver, Dan Haren, Ervin Santana, Joel Pineiro and Tyler Chatwood, there's no rush to get Kazmir back. In fact, he's easily the worst option of that group at this point. The Angels are in the thick of an AL West that's completely up for grabs, so trying to force innings out of someone who hasn't proven he can get hitters out since 2009 would be stupid. Plus, Kazmir's a free agent after the season -- there's no chance the Angels pick up his option -- so the Angels may end up just eating the $12 million he's owed this season.

While we're here, it's worth noting that the Angels acquired Kazmir and his bad contract from the Rays in 2009 for three players -- including Sean Rodriguez.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Category: MLB
Posted on: April 9, 2011 2:09 am
Edited on: April 9, 2011 2:21 am
 

Angels place Kazmir on DL

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The Angels have placed left-hander Scott Kazmir on the 15-day disabled list with tightness on his lower back. Matt Palmer will be called up in time to start today against the Blue Jays.

Scott Kazmir"It's very frustrating," Kazmir told reporters, including Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. "I kind of changed my delivery a bit and it seemed like the lower back never bounced back."

Kazmir lasted just 1 2/3 innings Sunday against the Royals, allowing five runs on five hits, two walks and two hit batters (not to mention a balk).

Kazmir worked out Wednesday in Tampa Bay, but manager Mike Scioscia said Kazmir started complaining about his back tightening up.

"We'll push him back and give him a few days for this to calm down," Scioscia said.

Palmer struggled this spring with bronchitis, but pitched well at the end of spring training. He was 11-2 with a  3.93 ERA in 2009 before a shoulder sprain hindered his performance in Triple-A and with the Angels in 2010.

The Angels still need a starter for Tuesday to replace Joel Pineiro, who went on the DL with soreness in the back of his shoulder. Trevor Bell is likely to get the call to pitch against the Indians.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: April 5, 2011 10:49 am
Edited on: April 5, 2011 1:05 pm
 

Pepper: Kazmir struggling, future in doubt

Kazmir

By Evan Brunell

Scott Kazmir's job could be in danger.

After going through what Kaz termed "boot camp" in the offseason, the hope was that the former top left-hander would move on from his 5.94 ERA from 2010, the highest among pitchers who tossed at least 140 innings. However, the former Rays ace had an awful spring training and imploded in his first start of the season on Sunday against the Royals.

Manager Mike Scioscia was already unhappy with Kazmir's progress, and his outing Sunday only made things worse. One has to seriously wonder if Los Angeles is considering releasing Kazmir and the $14.5 million left on his contract. It's certainly been a long fall from grace for Kazmir and unfortunately it appears as if whatever made him great in the past is gone for good.

The skipper had no easy answers for Kaz's slow start, saying that he has no velocity or command. "Kaz is a little more complicated, a little more baffling," he said. The Angels do have starting pitcher Joel Pineiro on the way back from injury along with reliever Scott Downs, so Kazmir could lose his rotation spot in quick order. 

The only question is: is he moved to the bullpen or do the Angels cut ties entirely? (Los Angeles Times)

GOING YARD: Will Texas' Nelson Cruz go yard again on Tuesday to have homered in five consecutive games? That's a question Eye on Baseball blogger C. Trent Rosecrans attempts to answer in MLB Today. (CBS Sports)

PETE ROSE MANAGING: That's Junior, not the Hit King. The son of Pete Rose is now managing the White Sox's rookie-level squad after long stints as a minor-league and indy-ball player. (Chicago Sun-Times)

KID REPLACING IDOL: Over in Washington, Wilson Ramos has the tough task of replacing his idol behind the plate in Ivan Rodriguez. Pudge has graciously accepted a reduced role, while the Nats are excited about the potential Ramos has. (Washington Times)

TAKING NO LIP: The judge in the upcoming perjury trial for Roger Clemens has had enough of the Rocket and his accuser, Brian MacNamee, taking to the media to spread their own opinions of the trial. Judge Reggie Walton has since reminded the two that they are not allowed to talk about the case. (New York Times)

STEROIDS OUT: Brian Giles' potential use of steroids has been disallowed in a pending palimony trial against his ex-fiance, who is accusing him of owing her over $10 million as well as abusing her. His links to steroids would have been used to attempt to establish that he did, in fact, abuse her. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

BEER VIA TWITTER: A Mariners beer vendor may be onto something here as he will take beer orders via Twitter for the Mariners' home opener on Friday. Seems like it could be abused, but it's hard to imagine anyone sitting at home sending a beer vendor fake orders from fake seats, even in this day and age. This is definitely a service that could end up becoming common in all stadiums depending how well it is executed. (CNBC)

MORE RESTRICTIONS: In light of the abominable beating two Dodgers fans put on a Giants fan, the L.A. County supervisor is calling for additional security at Dodger Stadium as well as more restrictive limits on sales of booze. (Los Angeles Times)

THERE'S ALWAYS HOPE: Austin Kearns' son was diagnosed with autism at 14 months back in 2009. His son is doing well, however, receiving treatment at a Cleveland hospital that was also the main reason why the outfielder returned to the Indians after signing with the team for 2010 and being traded halfway through the year to the Yankees. (MLB.com)

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Of the potential bidders to become minority owner of the Mets, one has the executive producer of Entourage footing the bill. If Doug Ellin ended up with the team, it could mean a jolt of starpower as quite a few of the actors on the show are Mets fans and could show up to games. (New York Daily News)

FREEZE! A rather interesting story that Stan Musial actually froze his appendix inside his body back in 1947. This allowed Stan the Man to stay on the field and finish out the year before having an appendectomy after the year. You don't usually hear about frozen appendixes, so it's quite a fascinating story. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

SEVENTH INNING FOR JOBA: Joba Chamberlain appears to have a lock on the seventh-inning relief gig. 'We love the way he threw the ball in spring training," manager Joe Girardi said. Interesting given GM Brian Cashman and other Yankee brass were displeased with how out-of-shape Chamberlain was in spring training. (MLB.com)

IS BASEBALL DYING? Sobering news -- 43 percent of MLB fans are age 50 or older in a 2009 survey, tops among all big four sports plus MLS and NASCAR, while a low 28 percent of the coveted age 18-34 demographic prefer baseball. Plus, children are leaving baseball in droves. (BizofBaseball.com)

NAME THAT TEAM: The Cincinnati Reds' Double-A affiliate is moving into a new stadium in Pensacola, Fla. next season. There's a contest being held to determine the nickname of the club, and you must also include why you think it's a good name. (Pensacola News Journal)

NICKNAMIN': Ever wonder how each baseball team got its nickname? All set. (Delaware County Daily Times)

ON THE WAY BACK: Mat Latos tossed a simulated game on Monday and came through it with flying colors. He will be re-evaluated Tuesday, and it's possible the right-hander could be activated as soon as Friday. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: March 26, 2011 11:37 am
Edited on: April 18, 2011 12:33 pm
 

Pepper: Japanese players coping

Daisuke Matsuzaka

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Sometimes the nature of our 24/7 news cycle makes us forget -- or at least move on from -- even the biggest of news stories get lost in the next big story.

Even though Japan is still dealing with the destruction of the earthquake and tsunami -- and will be for years -- we're not hearing as much about Japan right now. It's only natural. But that doesn't mean that everything's OK there.

Yankees pitcher Kei Igawa went to Japan last weekend and was deeply moved by what he saw.

"It was pretty disastrous," Igawa told the New York Daily News through an interpreter. "The roads were a mess, and when I was home, the water wasn't running. It was pretty hard for me."

Igawa's parents and family are OK, but keep in mind his hometown of Oarai well south of the epicenter and 100 miles from the damaged nuclear plant in Fukushima. He said his house didn't suffer flooding, but did suffer damage from the earthquake.

The Yankees allowed him to return home, where he spent five days and returned earlier this week.

"Compared to the rest of the country -- especially up north, where it was much worse, I feel really fortunate," Igawa said. "I wanted to stay home a little longer, because my family and friends are going through  hard time. But I also had to resume baseball, because that's my job."

Igawa will start the season in Triple-A. He's in the final year of his five-year, $20 million contract.

Many other Japanese players are trying to come to terms with what's going on at home, as well.

"Fortunately, I am a survivor, but it hurts, of course," the Angels Hisanori Takahashi told the Los Angeles Times through an interpreter. "It has definitely been difficult to focus on baseball.

"Seeing all the [TV] footage, you get a little numb, but it's a real thing. I have to keep my eye on the tragedy, but I also have to play baseball here."

Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka said he's still too emotional about the situation to discuss it publicly, but he showed how he felt by giving $1 million to the Red Sox Foundation, which is giving all that money to the Japanese Red Cross Society to help fund relief efforts. The Red Sox said Hideki Okajima, Junichi Tazawa and Itsuki Shoda have also made personal donations through the Red Sox Foundation.

Matsuzaka joins fellow stars Ichiro Suzuki (100 million yen, roughly $1.2 million) and Hideki Matsui (50 million yen, roughly $620,000) in making large donations to the Red Cross for relief efforts in Japan.

BATISTA FINED -- Reliever Miguel Batista was the only Cardinal fined for last week's scuffle between the Cardinals and the Nationals. Batista hit Washington's Ian Desmond to start the fracas. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch]

BUCK FALLOUT -- We've already had Buck Showalter backpedaling about his comments to Men's Health about his comments on Derek Jeter and the Red Sox. Derek Jeter, not surprisingly, wouldn't comment on Showalter's comment. However, a look at the stats say Showalter's wrong -- Jeter actually doesn't get the calls on the inside corder. [ESPN]

TULO'S FINAL FOUR -- Finally, a Final Four that matters. You can now vote for one of four songs Troy Tulowitzki will use for his at-bat music. Well, to me they're all crap, but I'm not the target audience. Tulowitzki had "Party in the USA" last year, so the selections this year are just as bad -- "Firework" by Katy Perry, "Baby" by Justin Bieber, "We R Who We R" by Ke$ha and "Yeah 3X" by Chris Brown. Vote here. [Denver Post]

THE LEGEND BEGINS -- I'm reading Jane Leavy's The Last Boy  about Mickey Mantle right now, so I knew about the legend of Mickey Mantle's home run at USC in 1961. Well, the Los Angeles Times remembers it too. A really cool story on the birth of the legend of the Mick.

MILLWOOD GOOD? -- Is Kevin Millwood really that bad? Looking at some of the recent pitchers to have 16 losses and an 82 ERA+ like Millwood did last season shows some pretty decent pitchers have done that before. [Baseball-Reference.com blog]

HE'S NOT FAT, HE'S BLOATED -- Dodgers shortstop Rafael Furcal explains he was bloated from medication, not fat when spring training started. Furcal ate contaminated meat in his native Dominican Republic in January and the drugs he took made him bloated. He looked big when he checked in, but he was just 193 pounds, about the same he usually checked in at. He's now at 188, just about where he likes to play. [Los Angeles Times]

D-BACKS BULLPEN ISN'T BORING -- Diamondbacks bullpen catcher Jeff Motuzas has discovered bored, rich relievers will pay people to amuse them. So, Motuzas takes on dares to pick up extra bucks. Among the things he's done -- snorted wasabi, eater regurgitated yogurt, left hot balm on his shaved armpits for an entire game and gotten shot in the earlobe with a BB gun. Livan Hernandez once paid him $3,000 to drink a gallon of milk in 12 minutes. The two also had a deal that Hernandez could punch him in the junk for $50 a pop -- with a $300 bonus after every 10th punch. [Wall Street Journal]

BUT IS HE WRONG? -- An anonymous "MLB star" had several things to say to  ESPN the Magazine about the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera, including "why isn't Cabrera paying a guy $100 a night to drive him around? Plenty of guys do that. That he didn't is a slap in his teammates' faces." [MLive.com]

ROCK THE KAZMIR -- Mike Scioscia didn't sound too optimistic about Scott Kazmir when he announced the lefty had made the team's rotation. If Kazmir struggles continue into the regular season, Matt Palmer may be an option. [Los Angeles Times]

TOGETHER WE'RE GIANT -- Our buddy Will Brinson loves the Giants commercials. I found them amusing, but still not as good as the Mariners commercials. I like the Cardinals ones better, too.

RIGGLEMAN DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOUR STATS -- You've seen some good commercials, now listen to a bad one. The Washington Nationals, MASN and Jim Riggleman are attacking stats in their newest campaign. Apparently a bunt or a "well-placed single" are "smart" -- and the walk is recognized as a good thing. But yeah, a pretty silly campaign.

THE NATURAL ON THE HILL -- Robert Redford will throw out the first pitch at the Cubs' opener on April 1 against the Pirates. [Chicago Tribune]

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed. 
Posted on: March 25, 2011 3:39 pm
 

Kazmir in Angels' rotation, dog house

By Matt Snyder

Scott Kazmir has a spot in the Angels' starting rotation to open the season. Just don't say he earned the job.

"Earned?" Scioscia said. "Define 'earned.' He will start the season in the rotation." (Los Angeles Times )

OK then. Tell us how you really feel, Mike.

It's tough to blame Scioscia for coming at Kazmir harshly. He was lit up like a proverbial Christmas tree Thursday and now has a 7.79 ERA in five spring starts. He's given up 23 hits and 12 walks in 17 1/3 innings (good for a dreadful 2.02 WHIP). The former All-Star was 9-15 with a 5.94 ERA and 1.58 WHIP last season in 28 starts. At 27, he's still plenty young -- if it feels like he's been around for ages, it's because he was promoted at age 20 -- at some point he has to start showing glimpses of his old self.

In fairness to Kazmir, his manager did want to point out it's not about his effort.

"Kaz has not pitched at a level we feel he can pitch to," Scioscia told the Times. "There's some disappointment in that, but we think the upside is still there to where we want to see where this goes in a regular-season game. Nobody is trying harder than Kaz. Though he's made strides, he's not where he can be and where we need him to be."

Keep in mind the contract. Kazmir is owed $12 million this season and has a $13.5 million club option for 2012. If that doesn't get picked up, and it's hard to see that happening, the Angels can buy him out for $2.5 million.

Basically, it seems like the Angels are pretty unhappy with Kazmir, but are giving him a shot in the rotation due to how much money he makes and their lack of alternative options. No wonder Scioscia was frustrated enough to let loose with the "define earned" remark.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: March 24, 2011 8:45 pm
Edited on: March 24, 2011 9:53 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/24: Slugging Stanton

By Matt Snyder

3 UP

Mike Stanton, Marlins. Florida's big bopper hadn't yet appeared in a spring game this season due to a quad injury. He made up for lost time Thursday in a stunning performance of his slugging prowess. He went 3-4 with two runs scored. Oh yeah, he also hit 3-run home runs in back-to-back at-bats, ending the day with seven RBI. His power is immense. Stanton hit 22 home runs last year in 359 at-bats and he was only 20. He was killing the ball in Triple-A before his call, as he had 21 bombs in just 192 at-bats. There's 40-homer potential in that bat for years to come.

Brad Emaus, Mets. The Mets' bats went nuts, scoring 16 runs on 23 hits, but the day was most significant for Emaus, as he zeroes in on the second base job vacated by Luis Castillo's dismissal. He went 4-4 with a double, home run, three runs and an RBI.

Darwin Barney, Cubs. The 25 year old is doing all he can to make Mike Quade forget about leaving Barney on the bench. He's already made the opening day roster, but is slated as a backup utility infielder with Jeff Baker all set to start at second base. Barney went 2-4 with a triple and two RBI Thursday. He also seems comfortable defensively with shortstop Starlin Castro. It would appear this is the double-play combo of the future in Wrigley, but how far in the future remains to be seen.

3 DOWN

Clay Buchholz, Red Sox. Of the 11 runs Buchholz allowed, only six were earned, but everything was troubling about the outing. He gave up 11 hits, including a whopping four home runs, in four innings. He threw too many balls, falling behind to many hitters. The silver lining here is that the wind was blowing out to center.

Jaime Garcia, Cardinals. Garcia also coughed up double digits worth of runs (10), though only four were earned, as a Skip Schumaker error opened the door for some extra runs. Still, Garcia was knocked around the yard for 14 hits in four innings, including two longballs. He even balked. The spring ERA of 7.94 doesn't look promising for a club looking for guys to step up in the absence of Adam Wainwright.

Scott Kazmir, Angels. He didn't want Buchholz and Garcia to be the only guys in double figures, so Kazmir joined the party with 10 runs, eight hits and three walks. He also had some unearned runs, but only two, so the eight earned were the highest of the trio. Kazmir did last five innings, but coughing up 10 runs to these "Brewers" -- without Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks or Corey Hart in the lineup -- was pretty terrible. His spring ERA is up to 7.79.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


Posted on: March 9, 2011 9:20 pm
Edited on: March 10, 2011 12:46 pm
 

3 up, 3 down for 3/9: Holland emerges for Rangers

HarangBy Evan Brunell

3 UP

1. LF Alex Gordon, KC: 3 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 2 RBI. Gordon really needed this game, as a 3-for-3 night lifted his average to just .263. Already termed a bust, Gordon is likely on his final shot to contribute to the Royals. Heck, K.C. would take simply being an average contributor. In the same game, Lance Zawadski went 2 for 3 with 3 RBI and one run scored. He's a Triple-A player who got a cup of coffee with the Padres last season. Why is this mentioned? Because Zawadski was my double-play partner in high school. Rubbing shoulders with greatness, I am.

2. SP Javier Vazquez, FLA: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. Vazquez is looking to reclaim his status as one of the better pitchers in the game after his second turn as a Yankee was just as bad as his first. It's too early to speculate on his velocity, but the early results have to be promising for the Marlins who could be a sleeper in the NL East.

3. SP Derek Holland, TEX: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Holland certainly vaulted himself into being a favorite to win the No. 4 rotation spot in Texas with this outing. Reports had Holland looking electric, and he may be ready to fulfill his top prospect billing.

3 DOWN

1. SP Aaron Harang, SD: 3 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. Yuck. Harang (pictured) got blasted against his former team who dressed just one projected starter in Brandon Phillips, making this outing all the more worse. Harang felt he was simply too nervous. "You kind of want to go out there and do well against your old team," Harang told the Associated Press. "I guess I look at it that it's better to get it out of the way down here than having it happen the first time throwing against them during the season." At least, Harang hopes that's the reason. The Padres, too.

2. SP Scott Kazmir, LAA: 3 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. "What's Kaz doing here if he didn't give up any earned runs?" you ask. Did you happen to notice he coughed up nine baserunners in three innings? Kazmir also contributed an error when attempting a pickoff. The Angels will be very impatient with Kazmir after being nothing but a bust since the trade with Tampa Bay. The lefty says he's close to a breakthrough after simplifying his delivery. For his sake, we hope so.

3. 1B Miguel Cabrera, DET: 3 AB, 1 R, 1 H, 2 K. Cabrera was in the news Wednesday for all the wrong reasons as details emerged about the night of Feb. 16, when it was exposed to the world that Miggy still had a drinking problem. It's been three weeks since the incident and Cabrera is apparently in the best shape of his life, but he's still hitting .174 on the spring. But remember: spring statistics aren't worth the pixels on the computer screen.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.


More MLB coverage
Posted on: December 8, 2010 2:49 pm
 

Kazmir has to win fifth starter's job

If Scott Kazmir wants to be a starting pitcher next year, he's got a fight on his hand.

The Angels told the lefty that he will have to win the fifth starter's job, according to ESPN's Jayson Stark . It's quite a dizzying fall for Tampa Bay's former ace who is still due $12 million in 2011, followed by a $13.5 million option that will not be picked up that has a $2.5 million buyout.

Kaz posted a brutal 5.94 ERA in 28 starts, covering 150 innings while walking 4.7 batters per nine and striking out just 5.6. A far cry from his 10-plus K/9 and sub 4.0 BB/9 for the Rays in the years he shut down the Red Sox and Yankees. He's still young as he will play 2011 at age 27 so could bounce back. Unfortunately, Kazmir for now looks like he is the next Dontrelle Willis.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb  on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Category: MLB
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com