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  1. A dude with as cool a name as Kazmir deserves a better fate. That was an ugly game, and things don’t look good for him

    Comment by filihok — April 4, 2011 @ 11:40 am

  2. The Rays couldn’t have picked a better time to trade him. I’m sure the Angels are missing Sean Rodriguez right about now.

    Comment by Chops — April 4, 2011 @ 11:49 am

  3. It’s a little amazing how lopsided BOTH Scott Kazmir trades were – in hindsight.

    Comment by bgrosnick — April 4, 2011 @ 12:17 pm

  4. The Rays could have done better on the Kazmir trade. Kazmir was already showing a precipitous decline in skills while he was still on the Rays. A year or two early and they probably could have gotten a king’s ransom for him. They sold low on that one…

    Comment by Sean — April 4, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

  5. Seriously, the end results of those two trades were the Mets get a couple awful years from the bad Zambrano, the Angels get a couple dozen retched starts from Kaz, and the Rays sit pretty with 4 years of an excellent starter (book-ended by some slight badness)and a cheap, promising bat in S-Rod for the foreseeable future.

    Comment by Ben — April 4, 2011 @ 12:34 pm

  6. this is the first article I’ve read containing the word “wish-casting” that was not at or in a sheehan newsletter

    Comment by bowie — April 4, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

  7. Pretty sure the Mets’ trade was lopsided even without hindsight.

    Comment by Steve — April 4, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

  8. I think it’s a little nit-picky to say this when the Rays actually used Kazmir to go to the World Series in 2008.

    Maybe the return would have been higher, but they were actually in “win-now” mode in 2008.

    Comment by Steve — April 4, 2011 @ 12:41 pm

  9. AND Alex Torres – worth of a #9 spot in the Rays’ Top 30 Prospect list. That’s winning.

    Comment by bgrosnick — April 4, 2011 @ 12:44 pm

  10. The real praise should go to the Braves front office for dumping Vazquez off of a career year. Now that’s a sell high if I ever saw one.

    Comment by Sean — April 4, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  11. Good point. My only response would be that they did it with Garza (dump him off of a playoff season while in “win now” mode) so why not do the same with Kazmir? I just think the Rays front office missed the boat on Kazmir. I still give them props for selling when they did. They could have gotten out earlier though…

    Comment by Sean — April 4, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

  12. Except they sold high for Melky Cabrera

    Comment by Will — April 4, 2011 @ 12:55 pm

  13. True. But they also got Arodys Vizcaino and Mike Dunn out of it…

    Comment by Sean — April 4, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  14. Kazmir’s collapse has been remarkably rapid.

    In his debut with the Angels in September 2009, he struck out 8 and walked one over 6 1/3 innings of work. Check out the video where his fastball hits the 93-95 mph range during that start.

    As per FanGraphs data, Kazmir’s fastball averaged 92.5 mph during his six regular season starts for the Angels in 2009.

    Today his fastball is a total joke and he no longer should be pitching at the MLB level.

    Comment by TheJoeFrom1993 — April 4, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

  15. And Mike Dunn helped get Uggla. Trade trees.

    Comment by Xenophanes — April 4, 2011 @ 1:14 pm

  16. +1 AND missing several millions of wasted dollars.

    Comment by Frank in LA of A — April 4, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

  17. The brilliance of the timing is that TB didn’t just salary dump, but they also received some prospects at the same time. Double bonus. Tony Reagins’ genius was only beginning to blossom at that time.

    Comment by Frank in LA of A — April 4, 2011 @ 1:21 pm

  18. At this point isn’t Kazmir no better than Oliver Perez?

    Comment by brian — April 4, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

  19. I’d probably say Oliver Perez is better. At least he still misses some bats.

    Comment by Sean — April 4, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

  20. “Speed is life.” That used to be an axiom for SR-71 pilots and is just as true for MLB pitchers that are- or were in Kazmir’s case- touted as having strikeout power velocity. Clearly the wheels have completely fallen off Kazmir and the Angels had better find out quickly whether the cause is psychological or physiological.

    I don’t hold much credibility in the radar gun out in Anaheim. The same one that clocked Scott Kazmir at 95mph showed the Rays’ David Price throwing over 100 mph during an all-star game. David himself will tell you it reads 2-3 mph high. But even removing calibration error, a drop from 92-93 to 85-86 has alarm bells written all over it.

    Get Scott Kazmir into a doctor’s office- ASAP!

    Comment by Wcstflyer — April 4, 2011 @ 2:59 pm

  21. Scott Kazmir is English for Oliver Perez.

    Comment by rbt — April 4, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  22. Hard for me to really compare the two players to tell you the truth. The cause of their demise may be similar (a lack of fastball velocity), but the reasons for it are probably quite different. Kazmir has made 30 starts in just two major league seasons (and only pitched 200+ innings once). His career has been derailed by injuries. Vazquez on the other hand was a work horse starter that had 30+ starts for 11 seasons and is probably hitting the wall at age 34.

    Comment by Ratwar — April 4, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

  23. Bah, Rick Peterson can fix Kazmir in 10 Minutes.

    Comment by Steve Balboni — April 4, 2011 @ 7:48 pm

  24. Hi Scott, I’m going to remake you as a legitimate MLB starter for the low, low cost of…

    i dunno, surely like a 6-pack of PBR is worth more than Kazmir at this point

    Comment by Dave Duncan — April 4, 2011 @ 9:02 pm

  25. I wish someone would write an article and get Kazmir’s thoughts on the issue of him pitching in the 2008 All Star game. He started the last game of the 1st half and was supposed to be ineligible to pitch but the game went to extra innings and he was forced to pitch. Ever since then his velocity and slider have been tanking. I’m wondering if that was the beginning of the end for him. Nobody ever brings this up though.

    Comment by Jonathan — April 4, 2011 @ 9:38 pm

  26. Dave Duncan, to this point, only tranforms RHP’s. LH can’t point the zone with 2-seamers and sinkers that run into a RHBs hands.

    Ya can’t help but to feel bad for Kazmir, it’s not like he’s trying to be ineffective or lose velocity.

    At this point he’s like a boxer that’s lost the ability to counterpunch or take a shot … All that’s left is to take the abuse until it’s time to quit.

    Sad, really.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — April 5, 2011 @ 1:50 am

  27. I love your stuff, but several terms need to be done away with once and for all: Note: This is obviously just my opinion, but they annoy me.
    -all fork-related analogies referring to players who are “done” (they are about as overused as Mark Prior circa 2003)
    -“nibbling” when referring to a pitcher trying to paint the corners
    not featured in this article:
    -“lite” when pointlessly comparing an inferior player to a superior player with similar skills
    -loogy/roogy: an incredibly obnoxious, hyperbolic term, with abbreviations manipulated for sub-par comedic effect. In reality, no pitcher actually comes in for just one out most of the time. Sure, there are guys who do it a good bit, but what happened to the days of “lefty specialist”?
    -“worm burner” when referring to a ground ball–it was funny the first, second, and even maybe the third time. But at this point it seems to have replaced the term “ground ball” in a lot of writers’ vocabularies.
    -the asterisk: Yeah Cistulli, I’m looking at you. And all the people who have taken it upon themselves to mimic your wit in extremely misguided ways, namely by using asterisks.

    Comment by R M — April 5, 2011 @ 3:15 am

  28. I think Atlanta and Tampa’s front offices have meetings where they drink 300 dollar scotch, smoke cuban cigars, and brag about being awesome.

    Atlanta sells Vasquez, in a round about way, to Florida for Uggla and for a top pitching prospect. Tampa commits a vile act on the Mets, then after exhausting Kaz, sell him off to the land of misfit has beens.

    Love those front offices. If the Yankees or Red Sox were half as good as the Braves or Rays, nobody else would ever win a World Series.

    Comment by Anthony — April 5, 2011 @ 4:35 am

  29. I mean it’s not like Atlanta traded for Dan Uggla lite, they got the real deal. Also got Vizcaino who could end up producing a lot of worm burners, he’s not LOOGY. As for Kazmir, the Rays say a fork in the road and in kazmir and took the road they should* have taken. Kazmir is gonna have more luck nibbling on forks than on the corners of the plate.

    Comment by Anthony — April 5, 2011 @ 4:38 am

  30. So how long before Jair Jurrjens becomes an Angel?

    Comment by cs3 — April 5, 2011 @ 5:03 am

  31. Try to get annoyed less. You’ll live longer.

    Comment by JoeC — April 5, 2011 @ 8:56 am

  32. To be fair, Kaz pitched some pretty good games in the end of 2009 when the Angels got him, but imploded in the playoffs and has been awful ever since.

    Comment by uhhhjboy — April 5, 2011 @ 12:35 pm

  33. There are a lot of reasons that his velocity could be decreased.

    Another thing about Kazmir … in his pitch FX page, starting 2 years ago, it basicalls lists his FB as a 2-seamer (if I am reading it right) at ~86 mph.

    His change and slider are being thrown at the same speeds as they were 4 years ago.

    The big difference is his FB velocity. Could it simply be because he’s throwing more 2-seamers than 4-seamers. Maybe instead of trying to throw a straightball by everyone, he’s trying to use more 2-seamers?

    Now, he could be trying to use more 2-seamers because his 4-seam velocity is reduced from what it used to be. That’s also possible.

    If FA = Fastball ALL, and FT = Fastball Two-Seamer, then he’s throwing 40% 2-seamers so far this year (63 total pitches), which is going to skew the average FB velocity quite a bit.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — April 5, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

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