Scott Kazmir Makes Indians Rotation

scott-kazmir-metsFormer Met Scott Kazmir has won the fifth starter spot in the Cleveland Indians rotation. Do you care?

For many Mets fans the mere mention of Kazmir’s name elicits an emotional response. If you are one of those fans, I’m curious to hear your reaction to this news that the former phenom has won a job for a team that is expected to contend for meaningful games in September.

Here at MetsToday, we barely touched on Kazmir during the winter — only reporting that he’d been signed by the Indians. There hadn’t been much buzz about him — nationally nor in Flushing. It might’ve been a “feelgood” story had Kazmir been in Port St. Lucie this spring, a la the Jason Isringhausen reunion. Looking back to last November / December, when there were many free-agent arms looking for work and the Mets in need of pitchers to throw at the wall, I didn’t have much feeling one way or the other. With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I could be guilty of asking “why didn’t the Mets sign him?” but if I send myself back to early winter, I don’t remember hearing much about his comeback, so it was difficult to gauge whether it was worth taking a flyer on him. After all, the last we saw of him, he was struggling to top 84 MPH.

In any case, Kazmir’s velocity is now in the low 90s — at times flirting in the mid-90s — and he’s earned the #5 spot and a $1M contract that’s loaded with another $750K in incentives. For all we know, he’ll flame out by May, but as of today, Scott Kazmir is back in the big leagues, pitching for a team that is perceived to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs.

So what’s your take? Do you wish the Mets had given him a shot this spring? Do you think it would’ve been a bad idea, for whatever reason? Answer in the comments.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Paul Festa March 26, 2013 at 10:51 am
    The Indians have a really bad rotation this year. I’m not surprised. When Ubaldo Jimenez is your ace…
  2. argonbunnies March 26, 2013 at 12:08 pm
    I don’t believe that the Indians have a legitimate shot. They’re the 3rd or 4th best team in a division that’ll send one team to the playoffs.

    As a Mets fan, what I’d want is a chance at the Kazmir of old, the strikeout machine. I doubt he’ll ever be that again, so we’re not missing out.

    On the other hand, if he really is hitting mid-90s, then uh oh, we may have seriously missed the boat on this…

  3. Walnutz15 March 26, 2013 at 12:55 pm
    I’d discussed this over at my other haunt, back in December when the Mets had been rumored to “be interested” in his services —- but (putzed) around before taking a definitive stance.

    Not that this current version of him will make or break anyone’s rotation – I was operating under the general opinion that we’ve invited far worse to ST through the years…..whether cutting ties with them by the end; or inexplicably carrying them to pitch in regular season action.

    I definitely would’ve throw him a minor league offer (with incentives) before someone else bit; but that was just me.

    My quote at the time?

    (And yes, I’m aware we’re talking about Scott Kazmir — but at this point…..your alternative is another guy like Chris Young — who’s always a pitch away from the D.L. himself. Maybe they SPLURGE and sign both! – lol…yeah, right!)

    Still feel the same. But really, it’s likely much ado about nothing – considering the Mets are always the last to know a player’s either:

    – injured
    – really healthy, or
    – just plain, flat-out not Major League caliber

    … evidenced by the slew of players that leave the organization, only to fade off into baseball oblivion afterward.

  4. Walnutz15 March 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm
    Forgot the lead-in from the December quote:

    “Personally, I wouldn’t mind kicking the tires to see if there’s anything we can work with. If you have any interest in doing so, then put out an offer……somebody sees anything at all that they like – and there’s no shot he comes here, IMHO.

    Would rather be aggressive than sitting back………….if there’s true interest.”

    It’s funny to me that the Mets “weren’t impressed” when he was starting up and auditioning — as if they have some kind of deep, healthy staff to begin with.

    ….and again, yes – I understand we’re talking about Scott Kazmir. Still doesn’t inspire me with the choices they’ve made otherwise.

  5. Mic March 26, 2013 at 1:14 pm
    This post is made somewhat by today’s news that Marcum is not ‘healthy’ and needs to be assessed, and the mets may be looking at Young again.

    We can point to the Indians weak rotation, but are the mets better? wheeler could be in flushing in weeks….not months.

  6. Corey Gorey March 26, 2013 at 5:08 pm
    I have an emotional response. I always like Kazmir. This Mets team is in pieces already, they should’ve signed another 10 pitchers to have the best staff in Las Vegas constantly on high-alert for catching the red-eye to JFK (I love LV, but having the AAA team there is dumb as rocks…anyway).

    Yeah, they should’ve given him a shot.