Scott Kazmir makes first MLB start since 2016

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Scott Kazmir delivers against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, May 22, 2021, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar) (Tony Avelar, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Former Cy Falls star and longtime MLB pitcher Scott Kazmir knows comebacks.

The Houston-native started Saturday night for the San Francisco Giants, pitching four innings of one-run ball. Kazmir last played in the majors in 2016, going 1,702 days between starts.

After a successful initial MLB stint with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Kazmir played so long ago, the Rays still had a little devil in them), Kazmir washed out of baseball in 2011, eventually pitching in the Dominican League and for the Sugar Land Skeeters in independent league ball 2012.

Kazmir made his first comeback to baseball in 2013, pitching for the Cleveland Indians and as a league-average pitcher over 29 starts.

In 2014, the Oakland Athletics signed Kazmir to a two-year contract. In his first season with the A’s, Kazmir made the All-Star team. It was Kazmir’s third All-Star appearance, and particularly impressive considering he was just two years removed from being out of affiliated baseball.

Kazmir pitched well again in 2015, pitching to a 3.10 ERA in 31 starts across the Athletics and Houston Astros. Kazmir parlayed that success into a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kazmir made 26 starts for the Dodgers but was injured at the end of the 2016 season.

Kazmir suffered diminished velocity in 2017, eventually being released by the Atlanta Braves. He spent 2018 and 2019 completely out of baseball, before picking up a comeback attempt in 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, options were limited and Kazmir pitched competitively in the Constellation Energy League for the Eastern Reyes del Tigre.

A three-time MLB All-Star pitched for the Tiger King team.

In January, Kazmir threw a bullpen at his workout facility, DST in Tomball, in front of a handful of scouts. The San Franscisco Giants liked what they saw and signed Kazmir to a minor-league deal. After some tune-up in Triple-A, Kazmir made it back to the bigs for the first time in nearly five years, and for the second major comeback of his career.

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