From the moment Scott Kazmir (above) walked into a big league locker room, urinated on Al Leiter’s boombox and proceeded to regale his veteran teammates with an a capella version of The Lewd’s “Kill Yourself”, it was just a matter of time before karma ran over the lefty’s dogma. Calling Kazmir’s performance Sunday for the Angels against Kansas City, “a meltdown of epic proportions”, the LA Times’ Kevin Baxter suggests the former might be ready to cut their losses ; $14.5 million, in this case.
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia promised to make changes — though he was vague about what kind or who they would affect.
“We’re going to sort some things out,” said Scioscia, whose team takes on Tampa Bay on Tuesday after losing the final three games of its season-opening series to the Royals. “We’re only four games into this and you definitely want to balance guys getting their feet on the ground with performance. But we need to find some chemistry.”
Kazmir, 27, reported to spring training in what he said was the best shape of his life, but it hasn’t shown in his pitching.
Rather than progressing, he appears to be regressing. In six spring training starts, he gave up almost as many runs (19) as he had innings pitched (21 2/3). And his fastball, once in the mid-90s, now sits in the mid-80s.
“Kaz is a little more complicated, a little more baffling,” Scioscia said. “Right now, he doesn’t have either velocity or command.”
It seems to make little sense moving Kazmir to a bullpen already weighed down with problems, but can the Angels afford to give him a start every fifth day?