Dodgers left-hander Scott Kazmir threw a five-inning simulated game today and told reporters after the outing that he felt better (Twitter links via Andy McCullough of the L.A. Times). However, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts expressed concern over Kazmir’s velocity to the L.A. media, noting that the southpaw’s fastball was sitting between 82 and 84 mph. Roberts adds that Kazmir is healthy (Twitter link via MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick) but now needs to build up sufficient arm strength to restore his velocity. The 33-year-old Kazmir has been slowed this spring by hip tightness that has limited his mobility and hindered his mechanics. He’s vying for a spot at the back of the Dodgers’ rotation and is owed a combined $32MM over the final two seasons of a three-year, $48MM contract (although some of that money is deferred).
More from the division…
- With Eduardo Nunez entering his final season before free agency, Christian Arroyo could be just one year from serving as the Giants’ primary third baseman, writes John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco GM Bobby Evans wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Arroyo reaching the Majors at some point in 2017, in fact, when asked by Shea. Evans, though, did stress that the emphasis is on first succeeding in Triple-A. Evans noted that from a defensive standpoint, he feels Arroyo is capable of playing any of third base, shortstop or second base, though the Giants obviously have long-term options at both middle infield slots in the form of Brandon Crawford and Joe Panik. Arroyo hit .274/.316/.373 in 119 games as a 21-year-old in the Double-A Eastern League last year.
- Rockies manager Bud Black said today that a best-case scenario for injured first baseman Ian Desmond and injured catcher Tom Murphy would be for each to return in mid-April (via Thomas Harding of MLB.com). While initial reports suggested that Desmond could be out six weeks, Dr. Donald Sheridan, who performed the surgery on Desmond’s fractured finger, said the operation went so well that the team is now projecting a recovery of four to six weeks. Mark Reynolds, in camp on a minor league deal, figures to make the team and handle first base early in the year in lieu of Desmond.
- The injury to Padres outfielder Alex Dickerson opens a door for slugger Jabari Blash to get another crack in the Majors, manager Andy Green told reporters on Thursday (including Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune). “Obviously it opens an opportunity for Jabari,” said Green. “We might start entertaining the idea of hitting fly balls to (second/third baseman) Cory Spangenberg to check his versatility level at this point in time, try to give ourselves as many options as possible going into the start of the season.” The 27-year-old Blash was a Rule 5 pick out of the Mariners’ system last year, but the Padres struck a trade to retain his rights and optioned him to the minors before outrighting him off the 40-man roster this past January. Blash struggled in the Majors last year but hit .260/.415/.514 in 229 Triple-A plate appearances.