In 2004, when Scott Kazmir debuted with the Devil Rays following his trade from the Mets, he was a fireballing lefty with a fastball in the mid-90s. Seven years later, Kid K’s fastball is a misnomer.
So far this spring, Kazmir has pitched 12.1 innings, giving up 8 runs (7 earned) with 9 walks and only 6 strikeouts. But the most telling stat is the speed of Kazmir’s fastball.
In his most recent outing, Kazmir’s fastball was clocked at 87-89 mph, with only one pitch reaching 90. And that is considered an improvement. Most of the spring, Kazmir’s fastball has been closer to 85, or about the same as a JP Howell fastball.
And if Kazmir’s fastball averages less than 90 mph in 2011, it will just continue a troublesome trend to his career. Here is a look at Kazmir’s fastball and slider velocities throughout his big league career. The chart doesn’t paint a pretty picture. He is now basically a soft-tossing lefty, minus the pinpoint control.
Data via Fangraphs.com