Scott Kazmir had an up and down spring training for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his 16.1 innings, he gave up 10 earned runs. That left him with a 5.51 ERA over the course of his five starts. However, he did strikeout 16 batters. The stuff was there at times, but he has to stay consistent. After all, he is, in some form, replacing Zack Greinke.
Kazmir had a 1.00 ERA in 18.0 innings during the 2015 spring training schedule with the Oakland Athletics, and he had a 1.62 ERA in 16.2 innings during the 2014 spring season. So, is there reason to worry about his results this spring? Hard to say, but he does have a tall task ahead of himself.
Fair or not, Kazmir is replacing Zack Greinke as the club’s No. 2 starter. Greinke was 2-1 with 1.23 ERA against San Diego last year. In his only start against the Padres last year, as a member of the A’s, Kazmir allowed three runs (two earned) during a five-inning no-decision.
Therein lies the crux of the entire issue. Kazmir will be viewed, however fair or foul, as Greinke’s replacement. Does he have to be as good as the right-hander? Of course not. He just has to not be bad. It’s a fine line, though, and it’s one that Kazmir has done a good job of toeing over the last couple seasons.
The Dodgers need Kazmir to show up and prove that he belongs this season, or else it could be a tough go of it as a franchise as they look for other starting pitchers to compliment Clayton Kershaw’s greatness. Kazmir’s first test is on Tuesday night against San Diego. Let’s hope he passes with flying colors.