Friday, June 23, 2006

Rock the Kazmir

I'm developing a bit of a mancrush on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' pitcher Scott Kazmir. He is quickly becoming the greatest pitcher in the history of the franchise. Of course, it is arguable that the current greatest pitcher in the history of the Devil Rays is the fellow for whom he was traded, Victor Zambrano. We're not exactly talking the Giants or the White Sox when we discuss the pitching legacy of the Devil Rays.

Kazmir is currently the fifth winningest pitcher for the Devil Rays and could feasibly tie Ryan Rupe for fourth by the All-Star break. He has nine wins this season, five short of the franchise mark for a single season held by Rolando Arrojo. (Arrojo?, Rupe? I told you the legacy wasn't there).

Rupe will probably be passed by Kazmir in career strikeouts in the near future as well as Kazmir but needs a mere 33 and 57 to pass Zambrano as the all-time Devil Rays leader.

Most amazing about Kazmir is his success at a young age. Barring injury, Kazmir will strike out 400 batters before his 23rd birthday. Only eleven left-handed pitchers have done that. The most notable is probably Frank Tanana which doesn't exactly bode well for the possibility of long-term success. On the other hand, it may just mean Kazmir is a unique individual who has the potential for a long and great career. I'm rooting for that option.


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