Left-hander Scott Kazmir is competing for a spot in the Indians' rotation, but he is also playing it smart in terms of getting a feel for his pitches.
On Monday, Cleveland unveiled plans to hold a Minor League "B" game on Wednesday in order for Kazmir to focus on his breaking ball. The pitcher requested that environment so he could throw his secondary pitches without fear that poor results in a Cactus League setting would lead to an altered approach.
"I give him credit," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "He's been very good about communicating with us. He has not been real pleased with his breaking ball the last couple times out. He knows if he gets into a [Cactus League] game and he throws a couple and they're not good, he's going to go away from it and try to get outs."
Kazmir, who has not pitched in the Majors since 2011, is competing against Carlos Carrasco, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber and David Huff for the fifth spot on the starting staff. Right-hander Zach McAllister is the leading candidate for the fourth spot in the rotation.
Carrasco, Bauer and McAllister each logged three innings in Monday's 13-5 win over the Cubs at Hohokam Park. Right-hander Brett Myers -- a lock for the rotation -- worked three innings in a "B" game againast Minor Leaguers on Monday morning at the Tribe's complex in Goodyear.
"We know what Brett Myers is," Francona explained. "We don't need to see him over with the Cubs. We do want to see these other guys. This will be good for Scott, because he's not real comfortable rght now with where his breaking ball is. He can go down there and, if he gives up runs, it's not going to be a big deal."
Kazmir still getting a feel for his pitches
MLB.com | Mar 5