Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports
When a player gets traded from a losing team to a winner at the deadline, he is usually revived by the excitement. Kazmir, however, wilted. After going 5-5 with a 2.38 ERA in 18 starts for the Oakland Athletics, the righthander went 2-6 with a 4.17 ERA in 13 starts for the Houston Astros.
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Maybe it was the pressure of going back home for the Houston native. Or maybe it was having to be THE guy for a young rotation. Whatever the case, Kazmir didn’t answer the bell in Houston, and it hurt his market value. Which makes this winter the perfect time for the Cardinals to pounce on him.
Kazmir throws a fourseamer and sinker, both in the low 90s, and mixes in a 77-mph changeup, 88-mph cutter and 82-mph slider. He has been through hell and back, proving his resiliency just by still being in the big leagues. What he needs now is a steady winning environment. What he needs is St. Louis.