Rays Lose, Kazmir Back To Old Ways

By Dustin Staggers

After two stellar starts by starting pitcher Scott Kazmir, the 2nd of which he didn’t walk a single batter, Kazmir was back to his old ways on Saturday vs the White Sox. 

Kaz walked 6 guys in total, and then was shelled to start the 5th inning, a HR by Carlos Quentin and a HR by Paul Konerko and ended up getting pulled with a total of 4 IP.  His final stat line, 4.0 IP, 6BB, 6ER, 2HR.  I have been adamant in one thing over the past two years, and its that Scott Kazmir and his control issues do not seem to be going away.  He has as good as stuff as anyone else in the league has, especially when his changeup is working, but his overall propensity to walk guys, lead to inconsistency that hurts a still very young club such as ours.  

If we truly have no intentions of using David Price to augment our seemingly vulnerable bullpen (hate to say I told you so on this one) then we have to find a place for Price to pitch when he does finally come up.  Scott Kazmir’s rotation spot seems like the perfect spot for me.  With a 6 million dollar salary, and with the need to sign Matt Garza (our real ace, I hate to say I told you so on this one as well!) and BJ Upton to long term deals, someone with a salary is going to have to be moved.  With our plethora of pitching, Kazmir is the perfect trade bait.  He is a 25 year old, left handed pitcher with nasty stuff, and will have uber value throughout the league.  

It is apparent to me, even after just 12 games that the Rays are still one full time RF, a power bat, and a dominating bullpen arm away from being true threats to repeat.   Kazmir has the potential to bring in all three pieces.  Chris Ray, Aubrey Huff and Luke Scott???  I think the O’s would listen to a deal that would bring them a much needed SP.  

I’m not overeacting to one bad start by Kazmir, because this is an issue that I promise will continue to rear its ugly head throughout the year.