Scott Kazmir turned in another ugly start at Triple-A last night and Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times writes that “it now appears to be just a matter of time before the Angels release the struggling left-hander and swallow his $14.5-million contract.”
Kazmir coughed up six runs in 3.2 innings last night, walking five batters and plunking three more, giving him a 15.15 ERA and 13/16 K/BB ratio in four starts at Triple-A.
Sam Miller of the Orange County Register examined Kazmir’s mechanics via some video of his poor Triple-A outings and found that he’s “in completely different positions in each pitch” and his delivery is such a mess that “he finishes off the pitch almost with his back to the batter.”
It seems hard to believe, but Kazmir led the league in strikeouts in 2007 and had a 3.49 ERA with nearly 10 strikeouts per nine innings as recently as 2008. Since then he has a 5.42 ERA in 54 starts and now he seems incapable of even getting Triple-A hitters out despite still being just 27 years old.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.