08/29/09 3:10 AM ET
Halos excited about addition of Kazmir
Scioscia says southpaw solidifies starting rotation
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
Scioscia, who couldn't comment on Kazmir before the game because the trade didn't go through until the second inning of the Angel's 11-7 win, said after the game that the trade bolsters his team's starting pitching depth.
"We feel like we have four others like Scott, and that's important," Scioscia said. "With Scott healthy and throwing the way he is the last couple starts, he has the potential to be a No. 1, like anyone on our staff."
The Angel' starting rotation, which was in flux most of the season because of various injuries and the death of Nick Adenhart, now has five veteran starters. Kazmir joins John Lackey, Joe Saunders, Jered Weaver and Ervin Santana in the rotation.
Weaver was just one of several Angels players to express excitement about bringing Kazmir to the team. The left-hander, who is expected to make his debut sometime during the Angels' three-game series in Seattle that begins Monday, will wear No. 22.
"Obviously it's great to see that they made a move with the struggles we've had in our rotation this year," Weaver said. "With the tragedy with Nick and the young guys coming through here all year, it's nice to have a full rotation."
It's a welcome change for the Angels, who have used 13 different starting pitchers this year, including five rookies.
Another welcome change is that the bullpen also can see less work with an experienced starter rounding out the rotation.
"I think one thing that can happen is that if you get consistent length from your starting rotation, your bullpen can have distinct roles and be more effective," Scioscia said. "I think adding a fifth starter of Scott's caliber means we'll be solid all the way through our rotation and will pitch deep into games."
Offensive players on the Angels also were excited about the move.
"He's a tremendous pitcher," first baseman Kendry Morales said through a translator. "We just picked up a guy that's going to make our rotation much stronger. I've known Scott since we were about 15 years old, back when we competed in Cuba. At that time, he was a tough pitcher, and he's been tough through the years."
The Halos rallied Friday, and Torii Hunter said the news of getting Kazmir helped.
"We kind of got wind of it the fourth or fifth inning, and I think it kind of gave us a lift a little bit," Hunter said. "I think he's going to help out the rotation a whole lot. I'm just glad I don't have to face him anymore."
It's the second major move the Angels have made in the past two seasons. They added first baseman Mark Teixeira before last season's Trade Deadline.
"It's awesome, like with the move they made with Teixeira and now knowing that we had a hole in our pitching rotation [and] we got a legit guy in Kaz," Weaver said. "It's gonna be nice to have a starting five that has been up for a little while."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.