Scott Kazmir turned in 1.2 innings of something wildly opposite of pitching Sunday. Kazmir gave up five runs on five hits while walking two and hitting two. I cried thrice. This is the fifth straight start (dating back to 9/14) that Kazmir wasn't able to make it to the sixth inning. How can this be the same guy who had a sub 3.50 ERA, over 160 strikeouts and fewer than 90 walks each season from 2006-2008?
I don't pretend to be a scout (after my terrible overdrafting of Donald Jenson in the 2003 Wiffle Ball draft in Fulton County) but it appears that Kazmir is currently throwing the straightest fastball possible. Kazmir's K/9 ratio dipped by over two strikeouts per nine from 2008 to 2009 and then almost another two strikeouts from 2009 to 2010. Accordingly, his home run rate and fly ball percentage have also seen a rise since his former peak years.
Just about every stat is trending in the wrong direction for Kazmir who turned 27-years-old in January. It's hard to imagine that a successful pitcher could completely fall apart by his prime years without suffering a major injury. But that's where we stand. Now what can the Angels do with an ineffective left-handed starter collecting $12 million?
1. Waive him.
This is the "eat the cash to avoid the headaches" option. It may force its hand sooner than later. I assume trading him isn't a viable option since Omar Minaya is no longer a general manager.
2. Deal with it.
Twelve million dollars is tough to swallow while admitting you aren't good at your job. So Tony Reagins might just have to buy a Costco-size assortment of Tums and suffer through every fifth day. It's not like the bullpen is doing him any favors anyway.
3. Rebuild him.
We have the technology. And robot Kazmir can't be any worse.