Dodgers @ Rockies April 22, 2016: Kazmir in Coors

Dodgers
Rockies
5:40 p.m. PT
Denver, Colorado
2B
Utley
2B
LeMahieu
SS
Seager
SS
Story
3B
Turner
RF
Gonzalez
1B
Gonzalez
3B
Arenado
RF
Puig
1B
Reynolds
C
Grandal
CF
Parra
LF
Kendrick
LF
Raburn
CF
Pederson
C
 Wolters
P
Kazmir (L)
P
Gray (R)

After six brilliant shutout innings in his season debut, Scott Kazmir‘s following two starts were a good deal rougher. Both games saw Kazmir pitch just four innings against the Giants. In his start at AT&T Park, he gave up three home runs.

Having been in the American League for his entire career up until this year, Kazmir doesn’t have much experience pitching in Colorado. His one other start at Coors came in 2007, when he pitched six innings, allowing three runs on six hits (two home runs), striking out five and walking four.

One start from nine years ago doesn’t really tell us much about what to expect from Kazmir tonight. Rather, what we should look at is Kazmir’s numbers over the past few seasons. From 2013 through 2015, Kazmir has been very close to league average in ground ball, fly ball and line drive percentage. His HR/9 of 0.93 is also right around league average for those years. In other words, Kazmir is a thoroughly average pitcher, and the average pitcher struggles at Coors. But, of course, anything can happen at 5,200 feet.

The Dodgers will be facing 24-year-old right hander Jon Gray, making his first start of 2016 following a DL stint to open the season. Gray was the Rockies’ top prospect prior to his debut last year. In 9 starts, he posted an ERA of 5.53 (far underperforming his FIP of 3.63). Like most Rockies pitchers, Gray’s numbers were considerably worse at home than they are on the road, although his one start at Dodger Stadium lasted merely 4 2/3 innings (2 ER, 6 H, 2 BB, 8 K).

The Dodgers’ nine home runs rank 26th in MLB, so it will be interesting to see whether or not going to Colorado helps boost those numbers a bit. It’s worth noting that, despite the low team-wide power numbers, they’ve definitely been hitting, as they’re third in MLB in hits with 144. Certain Dodgers who have been hitting the ball hard — including Yasmani Grandal, Corey Seager and Yasiel Puig — will be worth keeping an eye on during this series. It’ll also be the Dodgers’ first look at wonder rookie Trevor Story, who, in case you haven’t heard, has hit eight home runs in 15 games.

ThrowsRelieverSat 10/15Sun 10/16Mon 10/17Tue 10/18Wed 10/19Thur 10/20Fri 10/21
LAvilan--OFF-2421OFF
RBaez34-OFF-2727OFF
RBlanton28-OFF13-19OFF
LDayton3-OFF16-12OFF
RFields--OFF-910OFF
RJansen-18OFF21--OFF
RStripling10-OFF-2018OFF
LWood--OFF-32-OFF

About Sarah Wexler

Sarah Wexler
Sarah Wexler is a native Angeleno and longtime Dodger fan. She began blogging about baseball in 2012 on her Tumblr, New Grass On The Field, where she covered an array of topics but especially enjoyed exploring baseball history. She is now a reporter/producer for MLB.com. She earned her master's degree in Sports Management from Cal State Long Beach. She graduated from New York University in 2014 with a bachelor's in History and a minor in American Studies. She's an avid Springsteen fan, which is a big boost to her baseball writer cred.