While the Los Angeles Dodgers opened camp with an abundance of starting pitchers, injuries and performance have reduced the number of options available to join Clayton Kershaw, Kenta Maeda and Rich Hill in the rotation.
Over the past week or so, Brandon McCarthy and Alex Wood emerged as the likely candidates to assume the two available spots in the Dodgers’ rotation. Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has pitched well in three starts, remains somewhat of a dark horse candidate.
Scott Kazmir went into Spring Training part of the conversation, but has fallen out due to last year’s hip trouble resurfacing. After last pitching in a Cactus League game on March 6, the left-hander is set to return on Sunday against the Texas Rangers, per Andy McCullough of L.A. Times:
Scott Kazmir will start on Sunday against the Rangers.
— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughTimes) March 24, 2017
Kazmir came out of his start against the Colorado Rockies after throwing one pitch in the second inning. He’d allowed just one hit to that point. Since being diagnosed with hip soreness, the 33-year-old spent the better part of the past two-plus weeks pitching on backfields at Camelback Ranch.
Kazmir used that time not only to continue testing the strength of his hip, but also worked on refining his mechanics. They became compromised last year when the veteran battled hip issues that also affected his back and ultimately neck.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed some concern over Kazmir’s diminished velocity during a recent throwing session, but it increased during an appearance in a Minor League game.