Scott Kazmir’s comeback story is complete, as the Giants have selected the veteran southpaw’s contract from Triple-A. Kazmir will start for the Giants in today’s game against the Dodgers — ironically, the team Kazmir last pitched for in the big leagues, back during the 2016 season. In corresponding moves, outfielder Braden Bishop was designated for assignment, and left-hander Sam Selman was optioned to Triple-A.
After appearing in parts of 12 MLB seasons from 2004-16, Kazmir pitched 12 innings with the Dodgers’ Triple-A team in 2017 but it seemed like his career was drawing to a close. However, the left-hander announced in early 2020 that he was preparing a comeback attempt, and after a stint in independent baseball, Kazmir landed a minor league deal with San Francisco last February.
Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi is no stranger to Kazmir, as the southpaw pitched for the Athletics and Dodgers when Zaidi was working in those clubs’ front offices. Since being hired as the Giants’ PBO, Zaidi has also developed a knack for finding hidden gems and reviving stalled careers — this roster development can be seen in the standings, as many of those unheralded players have helped the Giants to a 28-17 record.
Kazmir might represent the most impressive revival yet, considering his 37-year-old age, his long absence from the big leagues, and the number of injuries that dotted his career. It is worth remembering, however, that when Kazmir was in his prime, he was a very effective pitcher. Kazmir has appeared in three All-Star games, helped the Rays reach the World Series in 2008, and he has a 4.01 ERA over 1689 2/3 innings.
San Francisco has received excellent results from its rotation so far, though Kazmir will now get an opportunity due to injuries to Aaron Sanchez and Logan Webb. Sanchez’s return may be a while off and Webb’s shoulder strain isn’t thought to be overly serious, but Kazmir will get some time to show what he can do in 2021.
Bishop’s tenure with the Giants could come to a quick end, as the team only claimed him off waivers from the Mariners on May 17. Bishop has appeared in each of the last three MLB seasons, hitting .133/.188/.156 over 99 plate appearances with Seattle.