Scott Kazmir: Astros tenure was 'awesome', reminded him of 2008 Rays
Lefty Scott Kazmir signed a lucrative three-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason after spending the second half of 2015 with the Houston Astros.
At the Dodgers' Fan Fest event on Saturday at Dodger Stadium, Kazmir spoke a bit about his time in Houston. Specifically, he drew parallels between the '15 Astros and the 2008 Tampa Bay Rays, which won the AL pennant thanks to a stable crop of young players including Kazmir:
"It was awesome. It felt like the Rays back in 2008 when we made our run, just a bunch of young guys, super hungry, not a care in the world. Go to Yankee Stadium, go to anyplace and just get it done…so it was fun to be a part of that."
Kazmir, 32, was 24 for the '08 Rays. That season, he went 12-8 with a 3.49 ERA, started 27 games and totaled more than 152 innings of work as a vital part of Tampa Bay's staff.
For Kazmir, 2016 brings with it a reunion between himself and Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers' president of baseball operations. As a young GM in Tampa Bay, Friedman and his staff were integral in building the Rays for years, culminating in their 2008 World Series run (and subsequent postseason appearances in 2010, 2011 and 2013).
With Houston, Kazmir faltered a bit after a strong first half of the 2015 campaign with the Oakland Athletics. He went 2-6 in 13 starts, posted a 4.17 ERA and tossed more than 73 innings for Houston, who acquired him in a midseason deal in exchange for minor-leaguers Jacob Nottingham and Daniel Mengden.