By Jon Weisman
After retiring only seven batters in the Dodgers’ 18-9 victory today at Cincinnati, Scott Kazmir is scheduled to see a doctor on Tuesday, though the initial report of an MRI, as Cody Pace of MLB.com described, has been revised.
“Scott is fighting some physical things with his body,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s doing what he can, but when your body doesn’t feel right, mechanically, it affects mechanics. He knows he wants to go out there and go deeper in a game. When you’ve got a 6-1 lead, he wants the decision, for himself, for the team. When you’re physically limited and you can’t execute, he’s frustrated.”
Kazmir is dealing with some stiffness in his neck and his back, something he said that he’s been dealing with “for years.” The problem with his neck in particular has messed with Kazmir’s mechanics, not allowing him to get his head toward the catcher properly and resulting in him flying open. …
… “No matter what happens, we’ve gotten this far,” Kazmir said. “I know how my body works. If we have some type of imaging, whatever happens, I’ll strengthen it up and I’ll continue to do what I do.”
Kazmir’s next start would theoretically be Saturday against the Cubs. Between now and then, about the only sure thing for the Dodgers is that Kenta Maeda will take the mound Tuesday against the Giants. Rich Hill remains on track to start Wednesday, and then the bigger question marks arise.
Thursday would be Brett Anderson’s turn, but the Dodgers have Ross Stripling traveling with the team — though not officially recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City — in case Anderson (who played catch with Clayton Kershaw today) needs to go on the disabled list with a blister on his left index finger.
Another candidate for that start would be Bud Norris, who pitched in relief on his throw day in today’s slugfest, after an abbreviated start August 19. Norris himself showed signs of back tightness.
“After a couple throws, I saw a little wincing and it didn’t seem right,” Roberts said, according to Pace. “I didn’t see the warmups, and when I saw him get out there, something just didn’t look right. So his back was tight. I would think that he’d be fine and I didn’t want to extend him anymore.”
Lurking in the minor leagues are Brock Stewart and Jose De Leon. In August, Stewart has eight scoreless innings for Oklahoma City, while De Leon took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of his start tonight and struck out 10.
In his past five starts, De Leon has pitched 34 innings with a 1.59 ERA, 0.68 WHIP and four walks and 33 strikeouts. To promote De Leon, the Dodgers would need to make a 40-man roster move — which is possible, but must take into account anyone they hope to add to activate from the 60-day disabled list between now and the end of the season.