Dodgers News: Scott Kazmir ‘In A Good Spot’ After Return To Mound
Charlie Riedel-AP Photo

Scott Kazmir’s debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers left some to be desired, but also came with reason for optimism. He gave up two runs in two his innings of work and a total of six hits, but also worked himself out of trouble.

Against the Texas Rangers, Kazmir faced runners on the corners with none out. He struck out Prince Fielder, then induced Ian Desmond into an inning-ending double play after Adrian Beltre’s RBI single.

In the second inning, Rougned Odor, Elvis Andrus and Michael McKenry each hit one-out singles, with McKenry’s extending the Rangers’ lead to 2-0. Kazmir again escaped trouble by getting a double play ball.

However, he was hit hard by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in his next outing. Kazmir only managed to toss 1.2 innings. He threw 56 pitches, retired five of 13 batters faced, issued two walks and allowed five runs on one triple and five singles.

Rather than make a third Cactus League start last week, Kazmir pitched in a B game. The results were less-than-favorable, raising more red flags. He was back in the rotation on Sunday against the Milwaukee Brewers in a split-squad game for the Dodgers.

The southpaw allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and had four strikeouts in four innings of work. Kazmir came away pleased by his ability to effectively get his arsenal of pitches over, according to Ken Gurnick of

“My rhythm, the pitches, everything felt good today,” Kazmir said. “I threw 60-plus pitches, then 25 more in the bullpen. So 85 now, I’m in a good spot. I was happy with my changeup, I could add and subtract from the fastball, and I was able to bury some curves. All in all, it was a good day.”

Aside from being part of the equation to help offset the production lost with Zack Greinke gone to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Kazmir’s importance to the Dodgers’ rotation has grown exponentially with the rash of injuries.

Last season, Kazmir was a combined 7-11 with a 3.10 ERA, 3.98 FIP and 1.21 WHIP with the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros. He posted a 2.38 ERA, 3.16 FIP, 1.09 WHIP and averaged 8.3 strikeouts per nine innings with Oakland.

Kazmir’s ERA, FIP and WHIP increased to 4.17, 5.19 and 1.39, respectively, in 13 starts for the Astros. Moreover, Kazmir’s strikeout per nine innings dropped to 6.6 with Houston.

The 32-year-old Kazmir is no stranger to adversity as he remade himself after getting released by the Angels in June 2011. It wasn’t until 2013 that Kazmir returned to the Majors, on a Minor-League deal with the Cleveland Indians that included an invitation to big league camp.