Dodgers News: Scott Kazmir Begins Rehab Assignment With Quakes, Still Lacking Velocity
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Seemingly forgotten Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Scott Kazmir began a rehab assignment with High-A Rancho Cucamonga on Monday night. Kazmir went the targeted three innings, threw 40 pitches (25 strikes), allowed one run on four hits, and hit one batter.

The Lake Elsinore Storm (San Diego Padres affiliate) managed at least one baserunner in each of Kazmir’s three innings. Their lone run came on a leadoff homer in the first. A base hit followed, but Kazmir retired the next three batters to get through the inning on 14 pitches.

He worked around a two-out single in the second, and a hit batter in the third inning. The game action was the first for Kazmir, who began the season on the disabled list.

He was dogged during Spring Training by the same lower back/hip trouble that affected him last season, and wasn’t unable to pitch effectively or with expected velocity in Cactus League games.

According to J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group, Kazmir’s velocity in the start for the Quakes remained a tick below his career averages:

The southpaw had been working under a program with a weighted baseball that aimed to increase arm speed and velocity. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has maintained he expects Kazmir to join the club at some point this season.

That perhaps became more of a reality in recent days, given news of Julio Urias undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery.

Though, the Dodgers do still have a surplus of starting pitchers, evident by Kenta Maeda being squeezed out of the rotation and into the bullpen. It’s unclear what capacity Los Angeles ultimately intends to utilize Kazmir in, though he presumably would be given an opportunity to start.