Kazmir's agent called Peterson back on Memorial Day weekend to check on the struggling pitcher. Kazmir was throwing only 89-90 mph and had nearly abandoned his changeup, which he threw only four times in 93 pitches in his start against Oakland on May 20 before going on the DL. With the blessing of the Rays, Peterson, who runs 3P Sports, a high-tech evaluation and training service for pitchers, compared Kazmir's biomechanical analysis to a baseline he did with Kazmir back in 2004 with the Mets. "Thank goodness you shut him down when you did," Peterson told the Rays.
After a couple of mechanical tuneup sessions with Peterson -- one throwing to Peterson's son at a high school field in New Jersey and the other at a yoga studio in New York -- Kazmir began to regain his form. When Kazmir returned to the Rays, president
Even as Kazmir started pitching well, the Rays were still motivated to move him in a trade because they regarded him as too expensive (about $23 million due to him through 2011) when measured against future budget concerns, such as keeping outfielder
Pitching against Seattle this week after the trade, Kazmir hit 95 mph with his fastball and threw 77 percent of his fastballs for strikes. He threw 11 changeups that averaged 80 mph, an impressive 15-mph split from his heater. The Angels, with Peterson's help, just might have found themselves a re-emerging star.
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And so Matusz, 22, who threw 131 2/3 innings last year between the University of San Diego and the Arizona Fall League, should be capped at about 158 innings. (He has logged 143 2/3 so far.) Tillman, 21, who threw 135 2/3 innings last year, should be capped at about 162. He has thrown 137.
"We'll find somebody else to pitch when we have to," manager
Teams have tried throwing a right-handed starter against New York at Yankee Stadium 39 times this year. They are 11-28 in those games, including 5-19 since the win by Myers.