Former Tampa Bay Rays pitcher, and current Cleveland pitcher, will not be pitching on Saturday. Kazmir strained his abdominal muscle during Monday’s workout. Kazmir grew up with the Rays and became one of the first great pitchers for the team that is now known for its pitching – Jeremy Hellickson won a Gold Glove and David Price was the Cy Young Award in 2012. Due to injuries, Kazmir was traded to the Los Angeles Angels and then spent the last years playing winter ball and in other little-known baseball leagues before making the Indian’s roster for the 2013 season.
Kazmir was scheduled to make his pitching debut against his former team, the Rays, on April 6, but due to his injury, he will miss his first start. Its too bad because both Kazmir and the Indians need a fresh start after the past several disappointing seasons. Kazmir is currently heading back to Cleveland for a MRI.
- Tampa Bay Rays lose Opening Day (mlblogstbchick2011.wordpress.com)
Former Cleveland Indian first baseman has signed a minor-league contract with the Miami Marlins. The 29-year-old from St. Petersburg, Florida, has been on six different baseball teams since 2004; he spent four years with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Tampa Bay Rays fans will remember Kotchman from the year 2011 when he became the first baseman after Carlos Pena joined the Chicago Cubs, Manny Ramirez was caught doping, and Dan Johnson had trouble batting. With the Rays, Kotchman had a career fielding percentage of .998 among first basemen, the best among first basemen that year. Kotchman was also one of the most productive batters on the Rays, batting .306.
After Pena returned to the Rays in 2012, Kotchman was signed by the Cleveland Indians but did not have a successful season with the Indians (not many players do). With the Indians, he only batted .229. The Marlins already have a first baseman with Logan Morrison, so where he will possibly play or be used for is unknown.
The Cleveland Indians have signed free agent left-handed pitcher Scott Kazmir to a minor league contract. The deal occurred on
December 21, 2012 and was announced a few weeks later. This came out as a surprise since Kazmir has been out of baseball news for over a year. Kazmir is the prime example on how one injury can ruin an athlete’s career. What started out as a promising career took a turn for the worst after an elbow sprain. The 28 year old pitcher made his Major League debut with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2004 at the age of 20. While the Rays are currently known as a post-season contending team with an endless supply of young pitchers, Kazmir was with the Rays through the tough seasons and became one of the first great pitchers for the team. In 2006, Kazmir became the youngest opening day starter since the Mets in 1986 and went to the MLB All-Star game. In 2007, Kazmir led the AL with strikeouts (239), games started (34), and an ERA of 3.48.
Though Kazmir strained his elbow in spring training in 2008, he made it to the 2008 All-Star Game. The Rays preferred Kazmir not pitch at the game since he was recovering from his elbow strain but Kazmir was forced to pitch when the game lasted 15 innings. Kazmir pitched the 15th inning and became the winning pitcher after the AL scored at the bottom of the 15th inning. After the All-Star break, Kazmir had trouble striking out pitchers, driving his pitch-count up early in the game. This resulted in Kazmir barely making it past the fifth inning and forced the bullpen to be overworked. In 2009, Kazmir was traded to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (a trade that resulted in Infielder Sean Rodriquez becoming a Ray). With the Angels, Kazmir failed to reach his former self, resulting in his release on June 2011. Since being released, Kazmir has been spending time in Dominican League and an Independent Atlantic League. I am wishing Kazmir the best of luck since he will always have a special place in the hearts of all Rays’ fans.
Source: Scott Kazmir
The Tampa Bay Rays signed former Cleveland Indians right-hander Roberto Hernandez. The 32 year-old Hernandez received $3.25
million plus $1.825 million in incentives. Hernandez had spent all seven years in the Majors with the Indians. Though he finished fourth in the American League CY Young race in 2007 and was an All-Star in 2010, his career has been spinning downward ever since. About a year ago Hernandez was arrested by the Dominican Republic police on false identity charges. Hernandez was going by Fausto Carmona; he also claimed to be three years younger than his actual ages. The woman who created a fake birth certificate for Hernandez to obtain a visa to play in the United States was never paid by Hernandez’s father. The chargers were dropped after he completed a work program but he was still suspended by Major League Baseball for three weeks. In August 2012, he sprained his ankle and missed the rest of the year. In his three starts in 2012, he went 0-3 with an ERA of 7.53. The Rays are known as being a place for pitchers to restart their careers (relief pitcher Rafael Soriano went on to pitch for the Yankees while relief pitcher Fernando Rodney made history for having the lowest ERA) so it is possible for Hernandez to get his career back on track.
The question now is where Hernandez will be pitching – as a starter or a relief pitcher. He has not pitched as a relief pitcher since 2006. Executive vice president Andrew Friedman says he will be used as a starter during spring training and at the end, they will decide though there is a good chance that Hernandez will be starting pitcher #5. At the moment the Rays have seven pitchers going for the 5-man starting rotation, besides Hernandez there is David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Jeff Niemann, Matt Moore, Alex Cobb, and Chris Archer. Price, Hellickson, Niemann, and Moore should be in the rotation, meaning it’s between Cobb, Archer, and Hernandez. Since Cobb and Archer are still young, veteran Hernandez will probably be pitcher #5. Rays also need Niemann to be healthy since his injuries made him miss majority of the 2012 season. Hernandez has experience and has pitched 200-plus innings twice; something the Rays need since James Shields is now gone. Hernandez’s current record is 53-69 with a 4.64 ERA – though one must remember he was with the Cleveland Indians, a team that has failed to have a winning record for a while.