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Bizarre Bazardo

In the past four years, Yorman Bazardo has played for four organizations (Florida, Seattle, Detroit and how Houston), being traded twice, designated for assignment twice and outright released once. Seems strange for a guy with a career ERA of 4.61 in Triple-A and who is just 24 years old, so what might be contributing to Bazardo’s seeming unattractiveness as a prospect?

First, because I like the hard evidence better, let us take a quick tour through his numbers. Bazardo does a good job of missing bats but has also had some issues finding the zone. His reduction in pitches outside the zone is a big reason why he is seeing the level of success this season in Triple-A for Houston that he is. Bazardo has also been a prolific groundballer, holding above the 50% mark as a starter. Based strictly on missing bats, finding the zone and keeping the ball on the ground, you would think Bazardo would rank as an above average Major League starter right now.

The problem has been turning those missed bats into strikeouts. That did not happen in 2008 and that torpedoed Bazardo’s stay with Detroit. Still, that usually corrects itself, as it has so far in 2009, so you would think that giving up on Bazardo so early still seems odd.

Here is where we get into the less clear issues. For one, there is speculation that Bazardo is not actually 24. If true, that would certainly explain teams being more willing to cut ties with him. Another issue might be his attitude, rumors of markup issues dogged him in the past. I could only speculate, and I won’t, on the severity of them if they were, in fact, present. Maybe the scouts see something that limits his ceiling. Even if all three of these were true, it still strikes me as odd that so many teams have passed him on in such inglorious fashions.