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Don’t Worry About Scott Kazmir’s Slow Spring Start

Scott Kazmir

Veteran left hander Scott Kazmir has gotten off to a rough start to the 2016 cactus league season. Kazmir has made two starts for the Dodgers this spring and has not pitched well in either start. On March 4 against the Rangers Kazmir pitched two innings and allowed two earned runs on six hits and whiffed two. On Wednesday afternoon against the Angels he couldn’t even get out of the second inning. He allowed six runs, five earned on six hits across 1.2 innings with two walks and one strikeout. Overall Kazmir has pitched 3.2 frames and allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 12 hits while whiffing three and walking two. Kazmir’s spring ERA is now a horrendous 17.18, and his WHIP is 3.82.

Of course I don’t need to tell you guys how meaningless all of those numbers are. Yes Kazmir has struggled in his first two spring appearances, but spring training games don’t mean anything and exhibition stats mean even less. Outcomes aren’t important during this time of year.

A lot of players especially pitchers are working on stuff this time of year. Spring training is more for the pitchers than it is for the position players. Most position players can be ready within a few weeks. The pitchers need the full six weeks in order to build arm strength for the upcoming regular season. It’s a long season and pitchers have a lot to work on to be prepared.

Some pitchers use this time to work on developing certain pitches, or work on their mechanics. Some use it to develop new grips on their sliders, or work on a slide step. Others tinker with new arm angles. The coaches may tell them to just work on changeups during one game, or on their release point in another. The results are not important. What is important is that the pitchers gain arm strength and work on developing whatever they need improvement on.

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Remember these guys are professionals. They know that these games don’t mean anything, and that the numbers are meaningless. They are able to turn it on once the real games start. That’s why they are in the major leagues. Once the real games begin everything changes.

The Dodgers signed Kazmir to a three-year 48 million dollar contract during the offseason. Kazmir is due to earn 12.6 million dollars this season to be the Dodger’s number two or three starter. Kazmir can opt out of his contract after this season so this should be an important year for him. This is a good year for Kazmir to establish himself if he wants to get a long-term contract. However there may need to be some adjustments because this is his first time pitching in the National League. Fellow starter Alex Wood has also gotten off to a poor start as well.

I know some of you guys have expressed some concern about Kazmir and Wood’s slow starts to the spring. According to the numbers Kazmir has a career 4.88 ERA in spring training and a 1.56 WHIP in 38 career exhibition starts. It means nothing.

I just want to put your minds at ease. These guys are good pitchers. Kazmir and Wood will be just fine.

Photo Credit (Jon SooHoo)

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

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Scott Andes
Scott Andes: Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic

39 thoughts on “Don’t Worry About Scott Kazmir’s Slow Spring Start

  1. I get your point. But neither of these guys has pitched under pressure before. I mean the pressure of the highest expectations by everyone. Incessant. We knew what we had in Grienke. We don’t with these guys. Grienke thrived with the expectations. Can they? I wouldn’t put much $ on it.

    1. Greinke sure didn’t thrive in his last start with the Dodgers, when we needed our co-ace to meet those expectations

  2. OMG Scott! A voice of reason?

    I thought we were supposed to micro-analyze each at-bat and then shape the facts according to our view of the Dodgers. Like when Urias struck out the side, one fan would say “See he’s awesome” and then when he couldn’t get anyone out the next inning some other fan would say “See, he’s a bum.

    Isn’t that how we are supposed to do it?

  3. Urias maybe aint got that “repeatable” delivery.

    Actually I start caring about a SP’s performance when they are trying to go or 5 innings in a ST game, before that they are just working on stuff and when they get to 4 innings they should be working on stretching out and getting ready for opening day.

    1. Good point BOB. When they stretch out to 5 innings we get to see if they’re ready. There’s some weeks of this short work stuff to go yet. It’s still fun to critique from the recliner though. Easy Expert from here. I’m never wrong from where I sit.

  4. Wood seems to have too many termites in his throwing arm. Put a tent over him and get him ready for the season. Will Wood be the same inury prone player as Anderson? Wood sure does not look like an athlete either.

      1. Watford, I mean, was it ever a question? You put Clayton Kershaw to shame, Clayton Frickn Kershaw, enough said.

    1. You need your eyes checked truth. And I get mistaken for Eck all the time. Except he’s taller and I’m older and actually it’s never happened.

      1. Badger I first read something from Nov. 2015, but I read the article from March second too. The problem is everyone that runs for office needs money to do that, so it will be hard to find anyone, that is not some how attached to money, besides someone like Trump, who has money. And it is hard to change laws to police that. Because the senate and congress, make the laws.

        1. Trump has already told the Republican Party he will want 1 billion to defeat Hillary. Koch Brothers have around $600 million in their PAC’s. It’s dark money, nobody’s name is attached to it if course. Like Hedges said, this is already done. Did you ever read Plato’s Republic? They were debating the “might is right” principle and one of them, I believe it might have been Thrasymachus, not sure, made the point “the rulers, the ‘might’, establish policies that serve their own self interests. They make it right for themselves.” That was written BC. It is still going on today in spades. Confronting that principle is Bernie’s platform, and he won’t win. I hate to say it buddy but it’s already done. I’ve been having this debate for nearly two decades. But it’s done.

          1. I have heard something about those Koch brothers the other day on TV, but never heard the details, beyond what you just said. I never read Plato’s republic. I kind of look at who I think can make us safe, more from terrorism, so you probably know how I lean. That other article I read, explained what some of those different terms he uses, like the neo term. It sounds more like when Valderbilt, and Rockerfellor and other very rich Americans were prospering, with no limits, or laws.

          2. The Koch brothers are manufactured boogeymen. Money and influence in politics is sort of like the showboating debate in baseball. We’re ok with it if the guy’s on our team. If it’s the other guy, they’re evil.

            For every Koch brother, there is a Soros, a Steyer, a MoveOn. Last I checked, seven out of the top ten donors were powerful unions which advocated for a narrow band of self-interest and donate almost exclusively to a single party. There’s the Clinton foundation, which is a big exchange clearing house where the world’s wealthiest and most influential entities can get together and meet and greet and gain access to a former President and probable future President.

          3. At risk, I must call you on the Soros Koch comparisons. The numbers are not even close. Look it up.

            Yes, money is pouring into both sides, thus the conclusions reached by Hedges. Both parties are ruled by the corporatocracy. You watch what happens when we get past the conventions. Corporate money will pour into both sides. The middle class and the poor, which represent a large majority, will have no representation. The boogeyman you refer to is real.

          4. I did look it up before I commented.

            The Koch brothers are libertarians. They support or fund or advocate for multitude or libertarian or conservative causes, and not all of it – maybe not even most – directly or indirectly benefits their business enterprises.

            They support such causes as the Reason Foundation, the American Enterprise Institute and others – think tanks which dovetail with their ideology or philosophy. At one point in my life I almost got a degree in Public Policy. I would would have been working for a think tank. They are not, in and of themselves, bad things. Quite the contrary.

            They also support foundations and initiatives that favor such things as gay marriage and prison reform to decriminalize drug offenses, which has aligned with the current President’s policies. This is doesn’t benefit their business empire.

            Bill and Melinda Gates can start a charitable foundation based on what their interests are and their desire to use their wealth for the greater good, and no one thinks any worse of them. If the Koch brothers use their money for what they believe in their minds is the greater good, I don’t see that is much different. What bothers me are those relationships that are more obviously quid pro quo. If Hillary, in order to take Nevada, has to kiss the ring of a powerful casino workers union, that sounds to me like more a direct relationship based with an interest group that has a very narrow band of interests and expects those interests to be supported. The Kochs subsidize a free market and limited government overarching philosophy that, in an indirect way, benefits their empire, but they believe it benefits the country in the aggregate as well. You could argue the same thing for a Steyer, who puts millions of dollars into organizations that address measures to combat climate change.

    1. MM that is terrible news.I hope he will be OK. And I hope they are just being overly careful. I didn’t see what he did in that game, did anyone else?

      1. Tender knees is not a good sign. It’s an extremely long season. Good thing we got all that “depth” hey?

      1. Badger he elaborated beyond, saying he was going to be ok. I know what that tightness sounds like, but we will see.

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