Scott Kazmir Still Hindered By Lack of Velocity; Dodgers Don’t Feel ‘Urgency’...

Scott Kazmir Still Hindered By Lack of Velocity; Dodgers Don’t Feel ‘Urgency’ To Rush Return

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Dodgers have navigated much of the season with a surplus of starting pitchers, Scott Kazmir, who was expected to contribute in 2017, has not yet factored into the equation.

Kazmir was limited last season by lower-back and hip trouble, which affected his velocity and command. He spent the offseason completing workouts aimed at improving mobility, but that proved futile.

The left-hander fell victim to the same trouble during Spring Training and was limited to just three Cactus League starts. Kazmir threw multiple bullpen sessions and simulated games in effort to solve his mechanical trouble.

A lack of velocity has dogged the 33-year-old in spite of a throwing program aimed at improving Kazmir’s arm speed. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained the club doesn’t feel pressured to activate the southpaw from the disabled list, via
J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:

“Do we want him here? Absolutely. A sense of urgency, no,” Roberts said. “With the luxury of arms we have at our disposal, we want him to be right. That’s the main thing. To get him back here and not be right doesn’t do anyone a service. We’re starting to run out of time, but there are ways that you can get him back out. … He’s, I think, more anxious than we are, which makes sense.”

Kazmir began a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga on June 26, and has allowed a combined six runs on 10 hits, including two home runs, hit a batter and issued four walks in nine innings across three starts; each outing has been three innings in length.

What may impact Kazmir’s status is a Minor-League rehab assignment for a pitcher can only last a maximum of 30 days, per the Collective Bargaining Agreement. Monday marks the 22nd day for Kazmir’s assignment.

He’s in the second year of a three-year, $48 million contract signed with the Dodgers. Kazmir predictably elected to opt into the final two years of the deal last winter.