Kazmir session goes well
Scott Kazmir came to camp with a right hamstring “tweak” that he sustained, he said, in early January in his workouts at home in Houston.
But he managed to get in three mound sessions before coming to Tempe for Spring Training, and the Angels’ talented southpaw made it through a five-minute bullpen on the mound on Sunday despite damp conditions at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
“It went well,” Kazmir said. “I’m feeling good. They’re being a little cautious with me, but it’s early. No reason to push anything.”
Kazmir, a two-time American League All-Star who turned 26 on Jan. 24, was 2-2 with a 1.73 ERA in six starts for the Angels after arriving in an Aug. 28 trade with Tampa Bay last season. He finished the season 10-9 overall with a 4.89 ERA, missing about five weeks in May and June with a right quadriceps strain.
“If all our starters go through their progressions,” manager Mike Scioscia said, “all five should be ready [for Opening Day].”
The Angels opened last season with John Lackey and Ervin Santana on the disabled list, and they were devastated by the death of Nick Adenhart in the first week.
Because of the damp grounds, Scioscia limited some activities, but overall he was content with the workout.
“As long as we get our bullpens in, we’re fine,” he said.
May I make an observation here? I’m starting to read the stories about how the Angels have let the pack get closer to them by not making the improvements to stay ahead. I’d like to observe that just maybe the Angels improved by NOT buying some over-priced, worn out stopgap. While Abreu has been a terrific find, most of the free agents available this season were not the sort of player who could help the Angels, due either to advanced age or overly expensive contract. Or both.
Was there a better third baseman available? No. Let Wood play. Were any of the very few big name pitchers available worth the contracts they got? No. Bump everybody up a notch and curse the fates than Adenhart got killed. Given their contracts would Holliday and Bay be worth that much more than what the Angels have now in the outfield or worth stalling the upcoming players they have in the minors? Not to me. Did the lack of a flashy, but useless other than placating the panic-mongers, free agent signing allow them to survive arbitration season with their great young core of players? Yes. And maybe, just maybe, did the Angels budget savings for this season give them a chance at a future free agent or two who might actually be worth a big contract? There is that possibility, time will tell.
Please continue to help quell the hysteria surrounding a portion of Angels fandom, something you’ve excelled at since you got to MLB.