|Kazmir to DL|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on May 24, 2009
Scott Kazmir hasn't been the ace many projected him to be. At 25, his career ERA is 3.85, yes, but his WHIP is an atrocious 1.40. His average innings per start is less than 6. He's only broken 200 IP once in his career.
When he pitches, Kazmir nibbles too much and throws too many balls. At this rate, he'll never be an ace or a No. 2. Instead, he's end-of-the-rotation fodder. Gary Shelton of the St. Petersburg Times writes Kazmir's disabled list stay may help Kazmir get his groove back.
For Kazmir, this season has been like getting trapped in hell's outhouse. He has been embarrassed by his ERA. He has been whipped by his WHIP. Magically, he has acquired the ability to transform pedestrian hitters into Ted Williams.
Keeping all that in mind, what's a little stopover on the disabled list?
This could be a good thing for Kazmir, a good thing for the Rays, a good thing for everyone involved. Kazmir can use the break because of his sore thigh, and everyone else can use it because of their sore eyes.
For some time, it has been obvious the mound is no longer Kazmir's friend. His mechanics have been so out of whack, he can't fix them on the fly. And the more he has tinkered, the worst things have gotten. In some ways, Kazmir is lucky it is his leg that hurts, not his arm.
When you consider the other options - the bullpen, the minors - the DL might give Kazmir the best chance at a fresh start. Think of it like this: Going on the disabled list might end Troy Percival's career, but it might save Kazmir's.
For Kazmir to save his career, he'll have to get healthy, clean up his delivery and trust his quality stuff much more. Kazmir needs to attack hitters more often. Otherwise, he's going to be a five-inning starter who never lived up to ace billing.