Not every pitcher in baseball has to be able to throw 98 miles per hour with movement in order to be effective at their job. Not every pitcher has to be able to even throw 95 miles per hour to do a quality job. However, watching your velocity dip is a big deal. Just ask Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Scott Kazmir.

So far this spring, Kazmir has seen his velocity fall to a place he does not want it to ever go again. That range? 86 to 89 miles per hour. It’s where he sat in his time with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and it led to him getting released after some terrible results on the mound that were a byproduct of diminished velocity.


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From Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times:

He said he expects his velocity to increase as he builds arm strength for the season and wanted to focus on sharpening his mechanics. “If I try to let it go too early, I find myself getting out of my delivery,” he said.

There’s nothing to suggest that this isn’t the case for Kazmir — i.e. building arm strength through the spring to get up to your expected velocity when the season starters — but there’s also nothing to suggest that the velocity even comes back. It is, after all, what led him to being released and his two-year hiatus.

Kazmir most certainly could be fine, but the early results, even in spring training, are troubling to witness. The ball is up in the zone, hitters are hitting it hard, and he’s not getting anything close to easy outs. You can get outs at a lower speed, but only if you locate well. And, right now, Kazmir isn’t doing that.

We’ll see how the rest of this unfolds leading up to the beginning of the season, but this is a troublesome thing to observe right now. If the Dodgers are to have a relatively successful 2016, they can’t afford to watch one of their prized signings just lose velocity and location like this.

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About The Author

Justin Russo is a 30-year old sports enthusiast who dabbles in all forms of sports talk. Whether that talk revolves around the NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, MLB, or other leagues, he has an opinion. He works as a writer for Warriors World, and was formerly a writer and editor for ClipsNation on the SB Nation network. He also is the Editor-in-chief for But The Game Is On: The Beat.

3 Responses

  1. pauldodgerfan1965

    To put it accurately, the Dodger rotation going into 2016 is suspect at best. It should mean that they cannot wait around for Ryu and Kashmir?  I was never impressed with this signing to begin with. to sum it up rotation is very very questionable beyond CK.

    Reply
  2. Blue58

    If Kazmir can’t crack 90 mph with his fastball, he’ll be worthless and the Dodgers either will be stuck with him for three long years or have to release him and eat the contract. Maybe he’ll recover, but notice none of the other non-injured pitchers are having this kind of velocity issue. Right now Kershaw and Maeda are the only two starters who look major league quality, and there even are questions about Maeda.

    Reply
  3. CraigTheroff

    Jason Schmidt is the name I was trying to remember.  He got 47 million.  We don’t know how this could possibly happen again.

    Reply

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