Angels release struggling lefty Kazmir
Kazmir was given his release as the Angels closed out a three-game series in Seattle. Once considered among the most promising young starters in baseball, and a two-time All-Star with Tampa Bay, Kazmir has seen a rapid descent since being acquired by the Angels in August 2009.
''It's the best thing for (Kazmir),'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Hopefully he can get off that treadmill and restore his career because he was really struggling trying to get the ability to compete again, and I mean get his tools where can compete again up here. He wasn't going in the right direction."
The breaking point for the Angels, who will eat the rest of his $14.5 million salary this season, came Tuesday night when Kazmir made his fifth rehab start with Triple-A Salt Lake and gave up six earned run and five hits in just 1-2/3 innings. In his five starts with Salt Lake, Kazmir had a 17.02 ERA in 15-1/3 innings, giving up 29 earned runs and 22 hits.
Kazmir made just one start for the Angels this season, giving up five earned runs in 1-2/3 innings on April 3 against Kansas City. He was placed on the disabled list April 8 with lower back soreness.
The struggles for Kazmir began last year when his first full season with the Angels ended with a 9-15 record in 28 starts — the second-highest loss total in baseball — and a 5.94 ERA. He went to the disabled list twice, first with a hamstring injury and later with fatigue in his pitching shoulder.
''From where he was in August, September '09 when he came over and actually threw the ball well in spring training in '10 to where he is now is a very rapid decline,'' Scioscia said. ''He's still young and I'm sure at some point we hope he can unlock that secret of where he needs to be.''