Kazmir will throw for multiple teams this week as he pursues a big-league comeback, Buster Olney of ESPN reports.
The 36-year-old lefty hasn't appeared in the majors since 2016 and has been out of affiliated ball entirely the past two seasons. Per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Kazmir said in January that his fastball clocked at just over 90 miles per hour during his workouts, which is roughly on par with the velocity he sported during his most recent MLB action. If Kazmir proves he still has something left in the tank during his throwing sessions, he could receive a minor-league deal from an organization.
Kazmir (arm) was released by the Braves on Saturday.
How quickly things can change in Major League Baseball. Earlier Saturday, Kazmir was seen as the likely fifth starter for the Braves to begin 2018, but he left his Grapefruit League start with arm fatigue and it turns out that issue will end his bid for a rotation spot along with his tenure with Atlanta. This effectively cements Anibal Sanchez into the rotation, while Kazmir's future in the big leagues appears murky.
Kazmir left Saturday's game with arm fatigue, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The Braves' medical staff will give Kazmir a long look-over before the team decides on a course of action. This comes at a poor time for Kazmir, as he seemed in line to open the year in Atlanta's rotation with Luiz Gohara (ankle) sidelined. Now it seems likely that Anibal Sanchez will get the nod the first time the Braves need a fifth starter. Kazmir missed all of last season with a hip injury.
Kazmir is expected to make the big-league club as a long reliever and then take the ball when the Braves first use a fifth starter either April 8 or April 10, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
The Braves could use a fifth starter April 8 if they want to give Julio Teheran an extra day of rest between his second and third starts while keeping the rest of the rotation in order. They could also hold off until April 10 if they really want to minimize Kazmir's usage in that role. Luiz Gohara (groin) is expected to join the rotation in early May, at which point Kazmir would likely move to a full-time long-relief role. The 34-year-old southpaw hasn't impressed in spring training, sitting at 86-88 mph with his fastball while logging a 4.66 ERA and .303 batting average against in four starts. The Braves owe him $16 million, so they will give him every opportunity to prove himself useful.
Kazmir (jaw) will follow Julio Teheran on the mound in Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
Kazmir was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday with a jaw contusion. The injury is apparently not a serious one as he is already back on the hill. The veteran lefty is battling Anibal Sanchez, Matt Wisler, Lucas Sims and Aaron Blair for the final spot in the Braves' rotation.
Kazmir was scratched from his scheduled Grapefruit League start Sunday against the Astros due to a left jaw contusion.
Anibal Sanchez will take the hill in Kazmir's stead. The injury doesn't sound like a serious one for Kazmir, but it's poor timing nonetheless for a pitcher who will need to make the most of his subsequent opportunities this spring to secure a spot in the Opening Day rotation. Kazmir is battling Sanchez, Matt Wisler, Lucas Sims and Aaron Blair for the lone opening in the rotation after Sean Newcomb officially sewed up a spot Saturday.
Kazmir gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks over 3.2 innings while striking out one in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays.
The veteran lefty is in the running to fill the rotation hole created by Luiz Gohara's ankle injury, but at some point Kazmir will need to produce in order to win the job. His 4:6 K:BB through 9.2 spring innings won't get it done. He should be in line for another couple of starts in camp before Opening Day, but if he can't get some outs, someone like Matt Wisler or Max Fried could deny Kazmir a spot on the 25-man roster entirely.
Kazmir may be the Braves' top option to fill the fifth starter role until Luiz Gohara (ankle) is back on the mound, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports.
The journeyman lefty is battling Matt Wisler for the job, but Wisler's poor outing against the Tigers on Sunday may have pushed Kazmir into the lead. Kazmir's had his own struggles this spring, though, posting a 3:4 K:BB through his first six innings and having trouble finding the usual velocity on his fastball, and even if he does break camp in the rotation it will be purely a short-term assignment. Consider the 34-year-old nothing more than an endgame lottery ticket in NL-only formats.
Kazmir's fastball velocity was reportedly 85-87 mph in his first spring start, Grant McAuley of 929 The Game reports.
The only thing to watch with Kazmir this spring is his fastball velocity. It was in the mid-80s in 2017 after being up around 91 mph in 2016. If he can't throw harder, his career as a big-league starter is probably over. If he can gradually throw harder in his next couple spring starts, he could break camp in the big-league rotation.
Kazmir allowed two hits and a walk over two scoreless innings while striking out one in Friday's Grapefruit League game against the Yankees.
The veteran lefty is looking to re-start his career after throwing only 12 minor-league innings last year, and while Kazmir doesn't appear to have a clear path to a rotation job in Atlanta, a big spring could buy the organization some time if it feels one of its crop of top pitching prospects needs a little more development. He'll need to stay healthy over the next few weeks to even have a chance at a spot on the Braves' 25-man roster, though.
Braves manager Brian Snitker said Kazmir (hip) threw a side session Friday and will be on a normal throwing program during spring training, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. "Because [Kazmir] didn't pitch [in 2017] he'll probably be one of the latter ones that we see in the [Grapefruit League] games. But he's throwing in a normal program right now."
Shipped to the Braves earlier this offseason in a salary dump, Kazmir is a member of his fourth organization in three years since signing a three-year, $48 million contract in December 2015. Though the 34-year-old was a decent innings eater for the Dodgers in his last full season in 2016, supplying a 4.56 ERA and 1.36 WHIP while striking out 134 batters over 136.1 frames, the Braves aren't viewing the veteran lefty as anything more as a deep insurance option for the rotation with Julio Teheran, Brandon McCarthy and Mike Foltynewicz guaranteed starting roles and a cadre of young pitchers competing to fill the final two spots. On a more positive note, it appears the nagging hip injury that limited Kazmir to just four minor-league rehab games last season is no longer much of a concern. If Kazmir isn't traded or released before the start of the season, look for him to work in long relief for Atlanta.
Kazmir (hip) enters spring training as a long shot to make Braves' rotation, Gabriel Burns of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
He logged just 12 innings last season (all at Triple-A) due to hip and back issues, and when he pitched his fastball velocity sat in the mid-80s after averaging 91 mph in 2016. General manager Alex Anthopoulos said it's really hard to know what role the veteran lefty will play until they see how he looks this spring. Kazmir is due $16 million this season before becoming a free agent, but it's conceivable he is simply seen as a sunk cost on a team that has a bevy of young arms who need reps against big-league hitters. Julio Teheran, Mike Foltynewicz, Brandon McCarthy, Luiz Gohara and Sean Newcomb seem like the favorites to make the rotation out of camp.
Kazmir (hip) was traded to the Braves along with Adrian Gonzalez (back), Brandon McCarthy, Charlie Culberson and cash in exchange for Matt Kemp on Saturday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
Kazmir didn't appear in a game for the Dodgers in 2017 while dealing with a recurring hip injury, though he ended up making a few rehab appearances with Triple-A Rancho Cucamonga towards the end of the season. Assuming he's healthy heading into next season, he should compete for a rotation spot, though his recent injury issues could ultimately prompt the Braves to switch him to a long-relief role. He posted a 4.56 ERA and 1.36 WHIP across 26 starts for the Dodgers in 2016.
Kazmir will throw three innings in relief for High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Saturday but won't be on the postseason roster, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.
The Dodgers would like Kazmir to end the season on a high note, so he may get another start for Los Angeles before the season ends. That said, the only way we'll see any Kazmir in the playoffs is if the Dodgers rotation suddenly gets decimated by injuries, and knowing Kazmir's injury issues, there's no guarantee he will actually make it back to LA.
Kazmir (hip) is slated to make a rehab start for High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Monday, Eric Stephen of TrueBlueLA.com reports.
After experiencing a setback with his hip during a rehab assignment with Rancho Cucamonga in July, Kazmir was cleared to resume pitching in simulated games at extended spring training a few weeks ago. With those outings apparently going well, Kazmir will restart his rehab assignment Monday, and could make a couple more appearances in the minors before being reinstated from the 60-day disabled list. It's not expected that the Dodgers will make room for Kazmir in their already-crowded rotation once he's activated.
Manager Dave Roberts said Kazmir (hip) is throwing simulated games in Arizona, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Kazmir made a trio of rehab appearances for High-A Ranch Cucamonga, but his fastball velocity was sitting in the mid-80s, so the Dodgers decided to slow down his rehab. The 33-year-old has been on the shelf all season due to a hip issue, and his status for the remainder of the season remains up in the air. "He's pitching, has been doing simulated games," Roberts said. "But as far as getting him in a game situation, I don't know when that's taking place."
Kazmir (hip) gave up four runs on five hits while striking out two over three innings in Sunday's rehab start for High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
The 33-year-old made two positive rehab starts before regressing in his third appearance. While there were no reported setbacks with his hip or arm, there isn't a set timetable for a return to the majors for the oft-injured southpaw due to a crowded rotation of veteran options. It would likely take an injury to one of the Dodgers' current starters to open up a spot for Kazmir if and when he is ready to return.
Kazmir (hip) is scheduled to make another rehab start for High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Friday, Bill Plunkett of The Orange County Register reports.
Kazmir tossed three innings during his last rehab start for the Quakes, and while everything went well, he's slated to make his third start at High-A before moving on. The 33-year-old, who has been sidelined all season with a hip injury, isn't expected back until after the All-Star break.
Kazmir (hip) gave up one run on one hit and two walks while striking out one in three innings in Sunday's rehab start for High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
While Kazmir is working his way back from a hip injury, perhaps more concerning is the arm soreness he has experienced recently, so it was good to see him make this rehab start. It is unclear where he will make his next rehab start, and he is not expected to return to the Dodgers until after the All-Star break.
Kazmir (hip) is scheduled to make another rehab start Sunday, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
He had been experiencing some arm soreness after his most recent rehab outing earlier in the week, but a strong bullpen session Thursday keeps Kazmir on track to make another outing over the weekend at High-A Rancho Cucamonga. Still, even if Sunday's outing goes according to plan, Kazmir's still unlikely to be back until after the All-Star break.
|Minor League Pitching Stats|
|2010||AFA-Rancho Cucamonga Qua||6.0||1||1||0||0||0||0||6||0||8||4.50||1.333|
|2011||AAA-Salt Lake Bees||15.0||5||5||0||0||5||0||14||20||22||17.40||2.800|