Dodgers Roster: What Ever Happened to Scott Kazmir?

It seems like an eternity, but it’s only been just shy of two years since the Dodgers signed veteran southpaw starter Scott Kazmir to a 3-year/$48 million deal that left many fans excited about a prospective rotation upgrade.

At the time, the Los Angeles rotation was in a semi-rebuilding state, and there really wasn’t much to write home about outside of staff ace Clayton Kershaw. Before the 2016 season began, left-handers Brett Anderson and Alex Wood figured to be prominent parts of the starting crew, however, a large epidemic of injuries would eventuallyt force the management crew to utilize arms like Carlos Frias, Mike Bolsinger, Bud Norris and Nick Tepesch during different intervals of the year.

When he was initially signed, Kaz was coming off a season when he went 7-11 with a 3.10 ERA and 1.208 WHIP in 31 starts between Oakland and Houston, recording 155 strikeouts and 59 walks in 183 innings of work. Prior to that, nagging injuries led to inconsistencies from 2008-2011, and eventually forced Kazmir out of the MLB entirely. He latched on with the Indians during the 2013 season and went 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA over 29 starts. The following season with the Athletics, he posted a 15-9 record over 190-1/3 innings and 32 starts.

His career as a Dodger started out relatively decent in 2016, as he and newly acquired righty Kenta Maeda were the workhorses of the rotation early in the year, as they both performed admirably during the summer months when Kershaw was on the shelf with back issues. Kazmir’s body would never hold up throughout the entire 2016 campaign, though, as he was forced to the disabled list in August with neck and back issues. After the season was said and done, he made 26 starts, having gone 10-6 with a 4.56 ERA, but he averaged just a mere 5-1/3 innings per outing.

His contract gave him the chance to opt out after the 2016 season and pursue free agency, however, the Houston native decided to stay with the Blue Crew with a optimistic attitude for 2017.

“Bottom line, this is the place I want to be,” Kazmir said during 2017 spring training. “I’m three weeks ahead of schedule. I want to be at the top of that rotation. The way things went last year, I have a chip on my shoulder, and I want to prove to the fans and the front office that brought me here that they made the right decision.”

Regardless of his optimism, it was only a few weeks into 2017 Cactus League play when the lefty started having problems with his hip, which would ultimately prevent him from making a single big league appearance all season.

Things got so bad, that the team sent him to a “body mechanics” specialist in July with hopes of getting him back on track, but after making a few rehab starts in early autumn, Kazmir seemingly faded into the sunset as his teammates embarked on a deep run into the postseason.

Now, as 2018 spring training is quickly approaching, many fans are wondering what lies ahead for the soon-to-be 34-year-old southpaw.

An early version of the Los Angeles 2018 starting five sets up as Kershaw as the headliner, followed by Wood and Rich Hill, with Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu at the back-end—an identical model of the rotation that carried the team to first half success in 2017 before the arrival of Yu Darvish. Veteran righty Brandon McCarthy will also be around, as he is embarking on the final year of a 4-year/$48 million dollar deal, although a club option for 2019 does exist. Brock Stewart will once again begin as the spare arm on the fringe, while Walker Buehler may get some looks at some point in the year. If this is the season that he can stay healthy, righty sinkerballer Trevor Oaks may finally garner some consideration to make his long-awaited big league debut as well.

If he’s healthy, and as long as he shows some type of value early, Kazmir will be part of the picture also, at least in the beginning of the season. If injuries persist and the mechanical problems stay prevalent, though, it wouldn’t be surprising if he becomes a DFA candidate, as spots on the club’s 40-man roster will certainly be at a premium. In similar situations in previous years, the front office showed no mercy in eating the exorbitant salaries of players like Brian WilsonBrandon League and Carl Crawford.

For now, the best things that Kaz can do are to keep himself fit and limber, while maintaining a positive attitude heading into 2018 spring camp. Yet, even if he’s firing on all cylinders, there are absolutely no guarantees for a roster spot, especially when considering the depth of the organization’s starting pitching.

(FOLLOW DENNIS ON TWITTER: @THINKBLUEPC)

 

Advertisements

Dodgers Activate Yu Darvish, Place Josh Fields on Disabled List

darvish

The Los Angeles Dodgers reinstated right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish from the 10-day disabled list and placed right-handed pitcher Josh Fields on the 10-day disabled list with a lower back strain. Fields’ stint on the DL can be retroactive to August 25, if needed.

Continue reading “Dodgers Activate Yu Darvish, Place Josh Fields on Disabled List”

Dodgers Injury Notes: A Full Strength Squad Is Not Far Away

1-of_6O6ZqUkAx-bx34Qavvg

Even though the Dodgers are cruising along just fine, achieving 90 wins by the date of August 24th — a feat only two other teams in history have accomplished — and having a 13 game lead on the next closest MLB team in the Houston Astros, the club still has some of its key players on the disabled list.

Continue reading “Dodgers Injury Notes: A Full Strength Squad Is Not Far Away”

Dodgers Recall Stewart and Ravin, Place Wood and Bellinger on Disabled List

stewart
(Mandatory Credit: Matt York/Associated Press)

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday recalled right-handed pitcher Brock Stewart from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed left-handed pitcher Alex Wood on the 10-day disabled list with left SC joint inflammation.

Continue reading “Dodgers Recall Stewart and Ravin, Place Wood and Bellinger on Disabled List”

Dodgers 25-Man Roster: Granderson and Paredes Replace Pederson and Darvish

grandy
(Photo Credit: USA TODAY Sports)

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday activated outfielder Curtis Granderson and recalled left-handed pitcher Edward Paredes from Triple-A Oklahoma City, while optioning outfielder Joc Pederson to OKC and placing right-hander Yu Darvish on the 10-day DL with lower back tightness. Darvish’s stint on the disabled list can be retroactive to August 17, if needed.

Continue reading “Dodgers 25-Man Roster: Granderson and Paredes Replace Pederson and Darvish”

Dodgers Injury Notes: Kershaw, González, Ethier, Dayton & More

gonzo
(Mandatory Credit: Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press)

While most of the recent injury news surrounding the Dodgers has been centered around the prospective return of staff ace Clayton Kershaw, there are a few other players close to activation who may impact the squad down the stretch of the season — most specifically veterans Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier.

Continue reading “Dodgers Injury Notes: Kershaw, González, Ethier, Dayton & More”

Dodgers Have Absolutely No Reason to Rush Clayton Kershaw’s Return

kersh
(Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports)

With each passing day, it seems as if more positive news surfaces regarding the improvement of staff ace Clayton Kershaw‘s back injury. Yet regardless of how hard the three-time NL Cy Young award winner pushes for a return to the active roster, the Dodgers have hardly any rationale at all to warrant a speedy return to the team.

Continue reading “Dodgers Have Absolutely No Reason to Rush Clayton Kershaw’s Return”

The Injuries that Propelled the Dodgers to History, Potentially

5e0b6b46598f6019831708c022217588

When adversity strikes, that’s when you have to be the most calm. Take a step back, stay strong, stay grounded and press on.” – LL Cool J

Continue reading “The Injuries that Propelled the Dodgers to History, Potentially”

Dodgers Officially Recall Kyle Farmer, Place Grant Dayton on Disabled List

kfarmer
(PHOTO CREDIT: TWICOPY.ORG)

The Dodgers on Friday afternoon officially recalled catcher/infielder Kyle Farmer from Triple-A Oklahoma City and placed left-handed pitcher Grant Dayton on the 10-day disabled list with neck stiffness.

Continue reading “Dodgers Officially Recall Kyle Farmer, Place Grant Dayton on Disabled List”

The Current State of the Dodgers Starting Rotation

Wood2
(Mandatory Credit: David Goldman/AP)

While there are several factors which could potentially contribute to the dynamics of the Dodgers pitching rotation over the coming week, the club still continues to take a conservative approach on a day-to-day basis, protecting themselves from one or two outcomes that may determine the fate of the starting five moving forward.

Continue reading “The Current State of the Dodgers Starting Rotation”