While the team was in Chicago, Kazmir (on the disabled list with back stiffness) spent the weekend in his hometown of Houston working with a local baseball instructor he has known since Kazmir's days in youth baseball. The two worked on some drills and watched video dating back to Kazmir's high school career, the left-hander said.
Kazmir rejoined the Angels in Arlington, Texas, where they opened a three-game series against the Rangers with a 7-1 loss Monday night. But Kazmir didn't stay long. He went through a light, pregame throwing workout, then packed his bags for Arizona, where he will pitch three innings in an extended spring training camp game Tuesday.
Kazmir said the time in Houston allowed him to clear his head as well as find some things to focus on when he returns to the mound.
"I want to kind of stay away from mechanics and just let it go," Kazmir said. "It's one thing here, one thing there, one thing here, one thing there and before you even throw a pitch you're thinking of too many things. Hopefully, I'll just to go out there, let it go and have fun."
Kazmir's performances have not been fun to watch for anyone. After going 9-15 with a 5.94 ERA last season, he retired just five of the 14 batters he faced in his first start of this season (a loss in Kansas City). He went on the DL with back issues before his next scheduled start and hasn't pitched since.
"We'll see where he is and when he's ready to take this into a higher-level game in Triple-A and compete and put pitches together," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, indicating Kazmir would probably pitch twice in extended spring training before going on a rehab assignment. "What Scott needs to do is put pitches together and get higher-level hitters out, whether that's in Triple-A or the majors. He's not going to get that in extended spring."
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