Suffice to say, the Los Angeles Dodgers have not received much return on signing Scott Kazmir to a three-year, $48 million contract prior to the 2016 season. His deal included an opt-out clause after the first year, which was meant to allow for the southpaw to test a weak free-agency class.
That likelihood was thrown by the wayside as Kazmir was largely ineffective last season and suffered from multiple injuries. He predictably opted into the remaining two years of the contract.
An offseason spent focusing on workouts that aimed to improve mobility in Kazmir’s lower back and hip proved futile. Last year’s injury trouble resurfaced during the spring and it coincided with diminished velocity.
The issues have carried on throughout the year. Now, the 33-year-old is working with a body mechanics specialist in effort to find a solution, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com:
And Roberts confirmed that Scott Kazmir, who has not pitched in the Major Leagues this year because of a lack of velocity, went home to Houston to work with body mechanics specialist Lee Fiocchi.
After pitching in his first rehab game with High-A Ranch Cucamonga, Kazmir said he felt close to coming off the disabled list. He went on to start two more games for the Quakes, and allowed a combined six runs on 10 hits (two home runs), hit a batter and issued four walks in nine innings across the three starts; each outing was three innings in length.
Kazmir failed to pitch with improved velocity in any of the starts. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently said the club did not feel any urgency to rush the recovery process. Even without Kazmir, and Julio Urias for that matter, the Dodgers still have a surplus of starting pitchers.
That’s without taking into account the possibility team president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman adds to the depth ahead of the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.