Kazmir ready to get to work against Rangers

Left-hander signed 3-year deal in offseason to bolster rotation

March 3rd, 2016

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- One day after Dave Roberts' winning debut as Dodgers manager, free-agent signing Scott Kazmir will take the mound for the first time on Friday against the Rangers.

Kazmir signed a three-year, $48 million contract, with an opt-out after the first season, and slots into Zack Greinke's vacated slot as the No. 2 starter. In the wake of Thursday's back surgery that will sideline No. 4 starter Brett Anderson for three to five months, Kazmir's importance to the rotation only heightens.

Anderson has second back surgery

Kazmir is expected to throw two innings, as did Clayton Kershaw in Thursday's Cactus League opener. Kazmir has thrown four bullpen sessions, and live batting practice five days ago, since camp opened two weeks ago.

Kazmir, 32 next month, went 7-11 with a 3.10 ERA in 31 starts for Oakland and Houston in 2015. A three-time All-Star, he is 98-90 with a 3.96 ERA in 11 big league seasons.

• Kershaw tosses 2 scoreless in Dodgers' opening win

By signing with the Dodgers, Kazmir reunited with Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi, the lefty having pitched for their clubs in St. Petersburg and Oakland, respectively.

In addition to Tampa Bay, Oakland and Houston, Kazmir has pitched with the Angels and Indians. He has had double-digit wins in seven of his 11 seasons. He was originally selected by the Mets in the first round of the 2002 Draft.

During the past two seasons, Kazmir has started out strong (2.43 first-half ERA) before faltering down the stretch (4.60 second-half ERA). His late-season fade was especially pronounced last season, when he posted a 6.52 ERA across six September starts.