Scott Kazmir found himself in a familiar position during Monday’s start against the Colorado Rockies. After throwing his first pitch of the second inning, Kazmir was visited on the mound by Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and head athletic trainer Nate Lucero.
Roberts brought the hook for Kazmir, who was removed early due to left-hip tightness. It was an injury Kazmir battled last season, and one that triggered his subsequent back and neck trouble. Understandably, the 33-year-old was frustrated by the latest brush with the balky hip.
While Kazmir reported improvement on Tuesday, he nonetheless had an MRI on his hip, which revealed positive news, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
MRI on Kazmir's hip was negative. He will continue exercises designed to improve flexibility.
— Ken Gurnick (@kengurnick) March 7, 2017
Kazmir spent the offseason completing exercises that aimed to strengthen the hip. During camp he used bullpen sessions to focus on mechanics and a delivery that had bee compromised because last season’s malaises.
It’s unclear what the immediate future holds for Kazmir. What is certain is that he does not factor into the Dodgers’ upcoming starting rotation.
Rich Hill is starting Wednesday, while Kenta Maeda will throw on a back field, and Brandon McCarthy and Julio Urias will pitch in Friday’s game. Hyun-Jin Ryu is scheduled for his 2017 Spring Training debut on Saturday, and Kershaw and Alex Wood will handle split-squad duties on Sunday.
Kazmir has allowed two runs (one earned), issued two walks and has two strikeouts in 2.2 innings across two starts this spring.