Scott Kazmir held a workout for scouts today and Buster Olney of ESPN.com reports that approximately 10 teams sent someone to take a look at him.
Kazmir’s fastball was clocked mostly in the high-80s, which is similar to the diminished velocity he’s shown while struggling during the past few seasons.
Kazmir is still just 28 years old, but hasn’t been healthy and effective in the same season since 2008 and was released by the Angels following just one start last year. Overall he has a 5.54 ERA and 210/141 K/BB ratio in 299 innings over the past three seasons, but Kazmir’s once-overpowering raw stuff has gradually deteriorated and he coughed up a remarkable 30 runs in 15 innings at Triple-A last year.
The fact that two-thirds of the teams didn’t bother sending anyone to scout Kazmir says a lot about his chances of getting back to the big leagues, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he landed a no-risk minor-league deal from one of the 10 teams in attendance.
Angels DH Albert Pujols passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 10th place on baseball’s all-time home run leaderboard, slugging his 584th career home run in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Blue Jays.
Mike Trout had already slugged a solo home run off of Jays starter Marco Estrada to bring Pujols to the dish. Pujols jumped on an 0-1 cut fastball, sending it out to left-center field, clearing the fence by a few feet.
Pujols, who finished 4-for-4 with the homer and an RBI double, is batting .257/.321/.441 with 24 home runs and 99 RBI on the year. His next target on the home run leaderboard is Frank Robinson at 586.
Orioles closer Zach Britton had appeared in a major league record 43 consecutive games without allowing an earned run, spanning May 5 to August 22. That streak came to an end on Wednesday evening against the Nationals.
The Orioles entered the bottom of the ninth inning holding a 10-3 lead, but reliever Parker Bridwell immediately found himself in hot water. He yielded back-to-back singles to Danny Espinosa and Clint Robinson. He was able to strike out Trea Turner, but walked Jayson Werth to load the bases. Daniel Murphy then crushed his first career grand slam to make it a 10-7 game. That prompted manager Buck Showalter to bring in Britton.
Britton, too, was knocked around. He served up a single to Bryce Harper, followed by a double to Anthony Rendon that scored Harper, pushing the score to 10-8 and ending Britton’s streak. Wilson Ramos reached on a fielder’s choice back to Britton, but the lefty finally finished the game by getting Ryan Zimmerman to ground into a game-ending 4-6-3 double play.
Britton now holds a nice 0.69 ERA with 38 saves and a 61/16 K/BB ratio in 52 innings of work this season.