Dodgers not yet concerned with Kazmir's velocity

Left-hander said to be building up toward regular season

Dodgers not yet concerned with Kazmir's velocity

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said on Tuesday he is not concerned with left-handed starting pitcher Scott Kazmir's decreased velocity.

Kazmir's fastball velocity, averaging 91 mph last season, was in the mid-to-high 80s during a "B" game on Monday against the White Sox in which he was shaky the first two innings before settling into a rhythm with three scoreless innings. Kazmir said he's fine physically.

"He feels good," said Friedman. "I'd prefer a pitcher use Spring Training to build up. It's almost frightening when a guy is throwing harder as opposed to not as hard. He says he's fine, and I think he would say something if he wasn't. I'd prefer six weeks of building and getting ready instead of coming in on Day 1 and blowing."

Bauman: Kazmir can ease Dodgers' doubts

Friedman signed Kazmir to a three-year, $48 million deal (with an opt-out after this season) after Zack Greinke left the rotation for Arizona as a free agent.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the 32-year-old Kazmir assured him his arm "feels strong" and he has "absolutely" no concern about the decreased velocity.

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The departure of Greinke, combined with the back surgery for Brett Anderson, heightens the importance to the rotation of Kazmir, as well as Japanese newcomer Kenta Maeda, who is unproven in the Major Leagues, and Alex Wood.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.