Scott Kazmir
Scott Kazmir
35-Year-Old PitcherRP
 Free Agent  
Free Agent
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Kid K is now 35 years old, and likely done as a major leaguer. He was cut by Atlanta just before the 2018 season began and didn't find a new home last season. It was a weird career path for Kazmir, who came blazing out of the gates with Tampa Bay, left the sport and was working on television and movie production sets before re-starting his career with the Sugarland Skeeters and eventually making it back to the big leagues. If he throws another major-league pitch, it would be in a LOOGY role as his fastball looked rather lifeless the last time we saw him on the mound. A new arm angle is about the last trick he has left in the book if he wants to try to make one more go of it. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year, $22 million contract with the Athletics in December of 2013. Traded to the Astros in July of 2015.
Released by Atlanta
PFree Agent  
March 24, 2018
Kazmir (arm) was released by the Braves on Saturday.
How quickly things can change in Major League Baseball. Earlier Saturday, Kazmir was seen as the likely fifth starter for the Braves to begin 2018, but he left his Grapefruit League start with arm fatigue and it turns out that issue will end his bid for a rotation spot along with his tenure with Atlanta. This effectively cements Anibal Sanchez into the rotation, while Kazmir's future in the big leagues appears murky.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Scott Kazmir
Spring Training Job Battles: Nearing the Finish Line
March 24, 2018
Clay Link takes a spin around baseball and checks in to see how all of the relevant job battles are playing out in spring training.
Mound Musings: NL East Draft Day Targets
February 16, 2018
Mound Musings returns for 2018, and this week, Brad Johnson focuses on Opening Day pitching staffs to help strategize for draft day. High on his list are Thor and the Mets.
Collette Calls: NL East Bold Predictions
February 5, 2018
Jason Collette takes a stab at the 2018 season. Can Aaron Nola contend for the NL Cy Young? The answer to that and more here.
Collette Calls: December Transactions Analysis
December 31, 2017
Jason Collette analyzes the fallout from the notable transactions in December, including Dee Gordon, who has to to learn a new position after the Marlins traded him to the Mariners.
The Z Files: NL East Playing Time Preview
December 28, 2017
Todd Zola continues his look at playing time battles with the NL East and thinks Noah Syndergaard's health and performance will be one of the biggest questions to answer heading into 2018.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
After injuries affected his performance in 2016, Kazmir succumbed to his health issues entirely in 2017, failing to throw a single pitch at the big-league level. It all started when the southpaw was removed from an early March spring training appearance with hip tightness. He seemed to overcome this hurdle at first, but his velocity began to dip and he wound up spending the entire season away from the team working to get back to his previous form. His lengthy injury history certainly doesn't bode well for his chances of avoiding the injury bug moving forward. After a trade to the Braves, Kazmir will attempt to prove his health and carve out a spot in the young Atlanta rotation in spring training. Until further notice, he's merely a late flier in deep leagues.
Since his resurrection as a big league pitcher, the one thing that Kazmir has done consistently is walk fewer than 3.0 batters per nine innings, but he blew past that mark in 2016 to post his highest rate of free passes since 2010. He kept up the strikeouts for the first half of the season, but the swing-and-miss stuff was missing after the All-Star break and Kazmir was felled in late August by pain in his neck and rib cage. Later diagnosed with spine inflammation, the disappointing strike zone numbers are consistent with a pitcher who was battling injury or discomfort, while Kazmir's 5.40 ERA and 20:13 K:BB in his final 31.2 frames serve as further evidence that something was amiss. He chose not to opt out of his contract this offseason, so the Dodgers will owe him $32 million over the next two seasons. Given their internal pitching depth, he is not a lock to hold a spot in the rotation over the remainder of his current deal.
A Houston native, Kazmir was acquired by the Astros via trade last July after a strong first half with the A's. The 32-year-old southpaw had a 2.38 ERA and 1.09 WHIP prior to the trade, but regressed mightily with Houston, going 2-6 with a 4.17 ERA and 1.39 WHIP over 13 starts with the club. Despite his second-half struggles and durability concerns, Kazmir was able to land a three-year contract from the Dodgers in free agency. The NL West is tough, but Kazmir has held right-handed hitters to a sub-.230 average in each of the last two seasons, and the move to the National League after 11 seasons in the AL should prove beneficial for Kazmir overall. Keep in mind, however, that he's much more likely to toss 175-180 innings than to reach the 200-inning plateau.
Kazmir was signed to a two-year, $22 million deal last offseason and he responded by winning 15 games with a 3.55 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. After being out of the major leagues, Kazmir's incredible comeback not only continued, but he improved upon his surprising 2013 success. His strikeout rate dropped from 9.2 K/9 to 7.8 last season, but he also lowered his hit and walk rates from 2013 which led to his big drop in WHIP. Kazmir stepped it up in big situations as he led the majors with an incredible .081 batting average with runners in scoring position and two outs. The one downside to Kazmir's year were his struggles later in the season as he put up a 5.42 ERA after the All-Star break, perhaps tiring after throwing his most innings since 2007. Kazmir will be right in the middle of the A's rotation to begin 2015, and he should be quite successful as long as he can continue his new-found control since his return to baseball.
Kazmir returned from a year away from professional baseball to become one of the best stories in the game in 2013, resurrecting a once-promising career and making 29 starts while showing flashes of being a highly effective big league starter again thanks to his continued ability to miss bats at a good clip (9.2 K/9). The new and improved version of Kazmir featured better control, as he carried the lowest walk rate of his career (2.7 BB/9) in his return to the mound. The Indians reaped the benefits of a low-risk gamble to the tune of a 2.5 fWAR pitcher, but the front office was unwilling to re-sign him during the offseason when a weak market for starters drove up the price. Kazmir signed with the A's in December, landing a two-year, $22 million deal and an opportunity to make half of his starts in a very pitcher-friendly environment in 2014. A bout of dead arm slowed Kazmir in August, but he was able to log 158 innings, his highest total since 2007. The durability concerns remain, but it's entirely possible that those concerns will enable the 30-year-old left-hander to be an undervalued rotisserie commodity again in 2014.
Kazmir battled health and mechanical issues last season and saw his ERA rise for the fourth consecutive season. Once the possessor of a wicked slider, Kazmir was basically a fastball-changeup pitcher last season, which allowed batters to be patient and work deep into counts. As a result, Kazmir finished with just 150 innings pitched, and 79 walks in all. The Angels gave Kazmir a lot of chances last season because his contract was guaranteed for 2011, but don't expect them to be as patient this season if his struggles persist.
Don't get too excited about Kazmir's late-season 1.73 ERA for the Angels. He didn't pitch any better, just caught lucky breaks by allowing one home run on the 77 flyballs he gave up in that time. He throws too many pitches and walks too many batters to be an impact pitcher, and his slight build is a constant worry - he's missed time in three of the last four seasons. He's even striking out fewer batters than in the past.
Kazmir missed spring training and the first month of the season with an elbow strain, but he still finished in the top 10 in the league in strikeouts, and would have finished two runs out of the top 10 in ERA if he'd pitched enough innings to qualify. After a rough outing coming off the DL in his season debut, Kazmir went 8-4, 2.62 in 14 starts to earn an All-Star berth. However, his mechanics fell apart a bit after that, and he struggled (relatively speaking) in the second half and postseason. The Rays seem confident that a normal, injury-free spring should be enough to re-tool Kazmir, who'll lead the rotation along with James Shields again in 2009.
After making some changes to his mechanics during the first half of the year, Kazmir finished strong (8-3, 2.39 in his last 15 starts with a 124:31 K:BB ratio over 94.1 innings, four double-digit strikeout games in his last seven outings) and wound up winning the AL strikeout title. More importantly, Kazmir stayed healthy enough to make 34 starts this season, and he proved he's arrived as one of the top-tier pitchers in baseball. The only issue here is how deep the Rays will let Kazmir pitch into games on a consistent basis.
There's nothing to dislike about Kazmir's career development so far, except for the injury concerns that always follow 23-year-old lefties. Indeed, Kazmir was on the DL twice last year and was shut down six weeks early due to shoulder stiffness. While he's reportedly well on track for spring, his mechanics have always worried pitching analysts. With all that, Kazmir made the All-Star team last year and was among the league leaders in strikeouts and ERA until he went down in August. In addition, Kazmir reduced his walk rate by nearly a third last season from 4.8 walks per nine innings to 3.2 while still striking out more than ten banners per nine innings. He'll be in the top 20 of MLB starters, at worst.
If there's just one legacy Lou Piniella leaves in Tampa Bay, it's that he resisted the urge to overwork Kazmir last season, even though, in many stretches, he was the Devil Rays' only effective starting pitcher. As it is, Kazmir averaged 103 pitches per start, fifth-highest in the league, but the Rays' insistence that Kazmir get an extra day or two of rest at any opportunity kept Kazmir on the mound all year. Kazmir and John Lackey were the only pitchers to finish in the top five in the AL in both strikeout rate and home run rate; he's not that far away from reaching the elite tier of big league pitchers. Worth a dozen Victor Zambranos, easy.
Barring injury, the wunderkind will be part of Tampa Bay's starting rotation in 2005. He's never averaged less than one strikeout per inning at any pro level, including the bigs last year, but since he's still learning the ropes and Tampa Bay's defense may be down a bit in 2005, his ERA might not look very pretty this season. Still, he's one to watch.
Kazmir is the Mets' top prospect and projects to be in the majors during the 2005 season, but could make a cameo appearance towards the end of the 2004 campaign if he rises rapidly through the team's farm system. The team's first-round pick in 2002, Kazmir has one of the best fastballs in the minor leagues, averaging 94-96 MPH and sometimes topping out in the high-90s. He also has an above-average 81-84 MPH slider that has good tilt and break. The Mets have babied Kazmir to date, never allowing him to go longer than seven innings or throw more than 75 pitches. Kazmir needs to work on his curveball, controlling the running game, and building his stamina but has the arm and stuff to be a future No. 1 starter in the majors.
The Mets' first-round pick in 2002. Kazmir was considered a steal as the #15 overall pick by many observers, who thought that he dropped in the draft due to hiring Scott Boras as an agent and carrying high signing bonus demands. The Mets were able to sign him, and he started off well in Rookie League ball. Kazmir was drafted out of high school, so it'll likely be awhile before he's ready for the majors.
More Fantasy News
Leaves game with arm fatigue
PAtlanta Braves  
March 24, 2018
Kazmir left Saturday's game with arm fatigue, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
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Short-term fifth starter role likely
PAtlanta Braves  
March 23, 2018
Kazmir is expected to make the big-league club as a long reliever and then take the ball when the Braves first use a fifth starter either April 8 or April 10, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
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Back on mound Monday
PAtlanta Braves  
March 19, 2018
Kazmir (jaw) will follow Julio Teheran on the mound in Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays, Mark Bowman of reports.
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Scratched Sunday with jaw contusion
PAtlanta Braves  
March 18, 2018
Kazmir was scratched from his scheduled Grapefruit League start Sunday against the Astros due to a left jaw contusion.
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Scuffles in Tuesday's outing
PAtlanta Braves  
March 14, 2018
Kazmir gave up four runs (three earned) on four hits and two walks over 3.2 innings while striking out one in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays.
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