Scott Kazmir is toast

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CBS’ Danny Knobler spoke with a scout who said this about Angels’ starter Scott Kazmir, who gave up five runs in an inning and a third over the weekend:

“Terrible. No velocity. No command. No nothing”

Quit beatin’ around the bush, man, tell me: how’s he doing?

It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a starting pitcher fall off the table so quickly. And while, on some level, this may help make Mets fans a bit better about the famous Kazmir-for-Zambrano trade, no one should feel good about this.  But of course, baseball goes on, and if the Angels are going to go on with any kind of hope, they need to either demote, DL or dump Kazmir and throw Hisanori Takahashi or someone into the rotation.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”