Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Scott Kazmir threw 36 pitches off the mound at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday, but is bound for Camelback Ranch yet again. Manager Dave Roberts said Kazmir is returning to Arizona for a couple weeks to complete a throwing program aimed at improving arm strength.
Prior to meeting with Kazmir to determine the next step, Roberts spoke positively of the southpaw. “Delivery was repeated, which is good. I know he feels healthy and strong,” Roberts said.
When the Dodgers signed Kazmir to a three-year, $48 million deal prior to the 2016 season, many believed the veteran lefty would opt out of the deal after the first year in what was a weak free-agency market for starting pitchers.
But Kazmir battled multiple injuries last season and elected to opt in to the remaining two years on his contract. He went into Spring Training battling for a spot in the starting rotation, only to be plagued by the same injuries.
Kazmir began the season on the disabled list and remained at Camelback Ranch for extended Spring Training, where he recently suffered a setback with his hip.
Kazmir recovered to throw a pair of bullpen sessions in front of the Dodgers coaching staff, and reported his arm felt good, but that he was still sorting out mechanical issues.
The Dodgers currently do not have much of a need for Kazmir in their starting rotation, as Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda, Brandon McCarthy, Julio Urias, Alex Wood are all currently healthy. Rich Hill and Hyun-Jin Ryu are on the disabled list, but both may return within the next week to 10 days.
With their starting pitching depth, the Dodgers can afford to take things slow with Kazmir and make sure he is 100 percent healthy before bringing him off the disabled list.