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

 

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9 Comments

  1. Beth says:

    Well, now he ought to have great success against the Rays, who have been notoriously weak against soft-tossing lefties.

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  2. Hans says:

    I feel sad reading this. The man carried us for some years and now he's declining like grazy..

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  3. I wonder if the Angels feel like they were hoodwinked by the Rays? I've heard rumblings that the Rays felt like Kazmir couldn't be rehabilitated (damaged goods) when they moved him to LA. Maybe that's why the Rays were so quick to move Garza *before* the season got going...

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    • Beth says:

      Unless there were specific medical reports that the Rays suppressed, I don't see what the issue is. Teams all rely on their own scouting and, before trades are completed, on medical exams carried out by their own expertise. Do teams have an obligation to say "we just don't think this guy has it anymore, even though the medical reports are positive?" or "you should know that this guy is out carousing every night?" Good teams are supposed to move their players when they are on a downward trajectory.

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  4. Joe says:

    He will probably get released if he has 2 bad starts in a row. Has Kazmir fallen all the way to a possible loogy for us? He's bad and all but would be kind of cool to see him back in the Rays uniform.

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    • Cork Gaines says:

      Just a hunch, bit I think Kazmir's next step is to try to reinvent himself as Billy Wagner. Can he find 95 again if he is only throwing 20 pitches? I don't know. But if he can, he could be an effective closer.

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      • Connie says:

        we could use a closer :)

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      • Joe says:

        Interesting idea. Tricky though. Who knows if he clears waivers and we get to sign him and if we trade for him, we have to pay his salary. Also doubt he would even be a Type B after the last few years.

        Sticking with Jake McGee for closer.

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  5. Carey says:

    I've said it from day 1 w/Kaz: Nolan Ryan's game. Tom Glavine's body. You just knew it couldn't last.

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