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Scott Kazmir is suffering from diminished velocity

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It’s early, but Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir hasn’t looked great in his first two starts of the spring. The lefty has yielded seven runs on 12 hits and two walks with three strikeouts over 3 2/3 innings of work. Even worse, his fastball has been sitting in the 86-89 MPH range, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. As Shaikin notes, the last time Kazmir threw his fastball so slow, the Angels cut him from the roster.

Neither Kazmir nor the Dodgers seem to be worried. Kazmir said, “My arm feels great.” He added that if he tries to throw too hard too early, his wind-up gets out of sorts.

The Dodgers are suffering from quite a few question marks in the starting rotation behind Clayton Kershaw. Brett Anderson is expected to miss 3-5 months after undergoing back surgery. Hyun-Jin Ryu, recovering from left shoulder surgery, could return some time in May. Frankie Montas had a rib removed in February and will miss most of the first half. Brandon McCarthy is recovering from Tommy John surgery and won’t even throw to hitters until May. Alex Wood was scratched from his last start due to forearm tightness.

It’s safe to say that Kazmir figuring things out sooner rather than later is pretty important for the Dodgers at the midpoint of spring training.

Pirates suspend Keone Kela two games for contract violation

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On Monday, the Pirates announced the club suspended reliever Keone Kela two games for an unspecified contract violation. Kela will begin serving the suspension tonight.

Kela, 26, went on the injured list in early May with a right shoulder injury. He was on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Indianapolis for the last week and a half. Prior to the injury, Kela posted a 4.63 ERA with an 11/4 K/BB ratio in 11 2/3 innings.

After sitting out Monday and Tuesday, Kela can rejoin the Pirates on Wednesday in the middle of their four-game home series against the Cardinals.