Putting together the Rays All-Time 25th Anniversary squad

Evan Longoria, 3, with Carl Crawford, 13, following the 2008 ALDS.
Evan Longoria, 3, with Carl Crawford, 13, following the 2008 ALDS. / Jamie Squire/GettyImages
13 of 22

Starting Pitcher: No. 19, Scott Kazmir

Scott Kazmir
Scott Kazmir, 2007. / Al Messerschmidt/GettyImages

Almost as difficult as selecting the final two pitchers for the all-time Rays rotation was selecting which jersey number Scott Kazmir would wear on the club -- as you recall, he wore three different ones in Tampa.

His 114 ERA+, while very solid (especially for a No. 4 starter on any team), doesn't exactly scream "Greatest Ray of All Time," but Kazmir's impact goes beyond that. Kazmir, an All-Star for the Rays in 2006 and 2008, was the first Rays starting pitcher to be tabbed an All-Star since Rolando Arrojo in the team's inaugural season.

Kazmir's excellence shined through on a substandard Rays teams in 2006 and 2007, even if his record doesn't exactly reflect such a notion. In just over 350 innings over that stretch, Kazmir posted a 134 ERA+, 402 Ks and a 3.38 ERA. While his 2006 season was better by most measurements, Kazmir did lead the American League in Ks with 239 in 2007.

While his early success was notable for the Rays in the Devil Ray era, Kazmir was an even more crucial piece to the 2008 World Series run. In the '08 run, Kazmir posted a 127 ERA+ at the top of the rotation for the Rays, complemented by a 9.8 K-per-nine ratio and his lowest WHIP in a Tampa uniform. The rest of Kazmir's career didn't go according to plan, but Kazmir was the first true stalwart of the Rays rotation.