Indians starter Scott Kazmir held the Twins to two runs over six innings, striking out seven and walking one en route to his first victory since September 19, 2010. The lefty had allowed eight runs in 8.1 innings across two starts entering this afternoon’s game, but behind a fastball that averaged 92 MPH and maxed out at 95, was able to silence the light-hitting Twins lineup.
Since his last W, Kazmir has dealt with back and ribcage injuries and attempted to reestablish himself in the independent leagues. Last year, Kazmir tossed 64 innings with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League, posting a 5.34 ERA. Kazmir is still just 29 years old, so he still has plenty left in the tank if he can ever put it together for a sustained period of time.
Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.
The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.
That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.