Scott Kazmir (Cy Falls HS - Houston, LHP, '02) completed his meteoric rise throught the minors, as he is promoted to the major league Tampa Bay squad.
08/22/2004 6:09 PM ET
Kazmir makes Major League debut
Scott Kazmir will be tested with the very first batter he faces. The 20-year-old left-hander will make his Major League debut against the Mariners. That means that the first batter to step in against him will most likely be Ichiro Suzuki, who has been white-hot since the All-Star break.
"He'll get a little international flavor," said manager Lou Piniella, who will be returning to the city where he managed for 10 seasons. "I'm looking forward to seeing [Kazmir] perform, and Seattle is a good place for him to pitch."
Kazmir, the Mets' No. 1 pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, came to the Rays in the July 30 trade that sent starter Victor Zambrano to New York. Kazmir went 1-2 with a 1.44 ERA in four starts for Double-A Montgomery. He allowed 14 hits and 11 walks in 25 innings with the Biscuits, and struck out 24.
At 20 years and seven months, Kazmir will be the youngest pitcher in the Majors and the second youngest in team history. Chad Gaudin was 20 years and four months when he pitched for the Rays last season.
Kazmir also will become the Rays' 12th starting pitcher this season, two short of the team record for one season.
"I'm excited about this opportunity," said Kazmir after joining the Rays on Sunday afternoon. "At the beginning of this year, I never would have expected this. With everything I've been through, it's all paying off.
"I never really said I wanted to be in the Majors by any certain time," he added, "but I wanted to spend my first year in the minors  learning the things I needed to learn, and then refining my pitching and maybe getting a shot in my second year."