Scott Kazmir can’t get through two innings in rehab start

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Scott Kazmir, who was banished to the disabled list on April 9 with what the Angels called lower back tightness, struggled mightily in his return to the mound Tuesday, giving up six runs in 1 2/3 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake.

He walked four and hit a batter before being pulled.

The Angels went as slowly as they could with Kazmir after he was roughed up all spring and then tagged for five runs in 1 2/3 innings in his one major league start on April 3.  He spent over a month pitching regularly in extended spring games before the Angels put him back in a real game today.  The result, though, was disastrous.

Since they have nothing to lose now, the Angels will probably keep Kazmir on a minor league rehab assignment for the next 29 days.  Once his month is up, they can either activate him from the DL or release him and eat the remainder of his $12 million salary for this year.  Looking at his performance today, it’d be something of an upset if he ever dons the team’s uniform again.

Minor League Baseball had its worst attendance in 14 years

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Baseball American reports today that total attendance at minor league baseball games reached a 14-year low in 2018. Total attendance was 40,450,337. That’s a drop of 1,382,027 fans compared to last season.

Around a third of that drop is attributable to fewer scheduled games but, as Baseball America notes, even when you go to average attendance per game, there was a sharp drop off this season. BA suggests that this represents a leveling off after over a decade’s worth of large increases in minor league attendance. Which sound pretty plausible. Overall, attendance numbers are still massively above where they were 15-20 years ago, so this seems more like a correction than a real problem. The BA article goes into some good analysis of the decline.

All of that said, revenues are up for the minors, in large part because of merchandise sales and because minor league ballparks have a lot more amenities and better concessions than they used to have and fans are willing to pay for them.