Scott Kazmir favorite to land final spot in Indians’ rotation
Goodyear, AZ, United States (4E Sports) – Veteran big-league left-handed Scott Kazmir appears to be the front-runner for the Indians’ final spot in the starting rotation.
According to Sheldon Ocker of the Akron Beacon-Journal, this could be deduced from team manager Tito Francona’s continuous glowing praise for Kazmir, virtually from the first time he threw a ball in camp.
Furthermore, Kazmir hasn’t allowed any runs in the three times he pitched in exhibition games and one B-game against minor leaguers. His velocity and control also look good.
Kazmir has spent much of the last two years trying to rediscover the delivery that made him one of the best left-handers in the game.
“I feel like a completely different pitcher,” said Kazmir, when asked to compare himself to the last time he pitched in the big leagues. “It’s a night and day difference. The velocity is different, on the good side, by about 10 mph. I just feel a lot more confident out there.”
“You try not to get overly excited,” said manager Terry Francona, “but from the first day in camp it was so obvious he was ready to go.
“The ball was just coming out of his hand so easy.”
But Francona insists it’s much too early to start talking about who the Indians’ fifth starter will be.
“We’ve got 12 days to go until then, which is about is two to three appearances each,” said Francona of the pitchers.
“It’s wide open right now.” .
If Kazmir starts, the Indians would have to make adjustments regarding Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Article XX (B) of the new basic agreement says a big-league free agent with six years service time, in camp on a minor-league deal, must be added to the opening day roster five days before the season starts or released. If he’s not released, the Indians must offer him a $100,000 retention bonus and the right to opt out of his contract on June 1 if he’s in the minors.
Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Trevor Bauer may end up at Class AAA Columbus.