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ANGELS FYI

Scott Kazmir's latest rough outing might be his last as an Angel

Kazmir's rehab starts with triple-A Salt Lake have not shown much progress, and he might be released despite his $14.5-million contract.

June 10, 2011|By Baxter Holmes
  • Angels starting pitcher Scott Kazmir works against the Red Sox in a playoff game.
Angels starting pitcher Scott Kazmir works against the Red Sox in a playoff… (Los Angeles Times )

Angels General Manager Tony Reagins will be in Salt Lake City this week.

And he might be bringing struggling left-hander Scott Kazmir a pink slip.

What progress Kazmir has made in his four rehabilitation starts for triple-A Salt Lake can best be summed up by his earned-run average in those starts: 15.15.

So, in other words, not much.

On Friday, one day after Kazmir's latest rough outing, Angels Manager Mike Scioscia deflected questions about how many chances Kazmir would get, saying before the Angels' game against Kansas City that Reagins handles "personnel issues."

Players are permitted to be on rehabilitation stints for up to 30 days — a span they almost never reach — so the Angels have until June 22 to make a decision.

It appears, though, that that decision could be made any day now and that it will be to release Kazmir, 27, and swallow his $14.5-million contract.

When pressed, Scoscia said the amount of rehabilitation time granted Kazmir would depend on whether he is improving.

Are there any signs of that?

"There has been, but not after [Thursday] night," Scioscia said.

Kazmir gave up six runs — five earned — and six hits in 32/3 innings Thursday, walking five batters, hitting three and striking out three. Of his 91 pitches, 52 were strikes.

In his four rehab starts, Kazmir has given up 23 earned runs in 132/3 innings, walking 16 and striking out 13.

Kazmir spent a month in extended spring training in hopes of finding a consistent delivery and release point — neither of which he has found.

"Scott is working hard to find it. He's got to find it." Scioscia said. "He's very frustrated."

Calling them out

Scioscia usually wears a poker face in sessions with the media, but in recent days he has lashed out at his team's offensive struggles, calling it "woeful" and saying, "These guys are better players than this."

Such public remarks are strong coming from Scioscia, but outfielder Torii Hunter said they don't offend anyone in the clubhouse.

"All he's doing is telling you what everybody else sees," Hunter said before Friday's game. "He's not breaking news."

Outfielder Vernon Wells said the teamwide frustration stems not just from losing, but from the paltry offensive numbers: fewer than three runs in each of the Angels' last eight games entering Friday.

"You look at how we've played offensively over this long period of time, each day it builds on you," Wells added. "Eventually, it's going to bubble over."

Morales update

First baseman Kendrys Morales had the cast removed Friday from his surgically repaired left ankle, which he broke in May 2010. He will began physical therapy in Vail, Colo., where Dr. Thomas O. Clanton recently performed the second surgical procedure on the ankle.

baxter.holmes@latimes.com

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