Kazmir throws all pitches in simulated spring game

Kazmir throws all pitches in simulated spring game

PHOENIX -- The A's liked what they saw Sunday from their $22 million offseason prize.

Pitching against teammates in the controlled confines of a sun-splashed Phoenix Municipal Stadium, Scott Kazmir impressed a large crowd of A's personnel in a three-inning, 46-pitch simulated game.

General manager Billy Beane, who made Kazmir his highest-paid pitcher ever, was among the onlookers, joined by his 6-year-old twins about 10 rows behind home plate. Pitching coach Curt Young had a closer look at his new pupil, seated just a few feet behind catcher Derek Norris.

"Sitting behind him, I thought his fastball command was excellent," Young said. "Good life on it, too."

At this point last year, the left-handed Kazmir was throwing only his fastball. But on Sunday, he showcased his changeup, curveball and slider, too.

"To use all my pitches and work on location, inside and out to right-handed and left-handed batters. felt good," said Kazmir, who went 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA in 29 starts for Cleveland last year. "I feel like I'm a little more ahead of schedule."

"From what I saw in the past, it was mostly fastball-slider," said manager Bob Melvin, "but his changeup is as good as any pitch he has, and it looks to me right now like he's throwing a curveball, too. He looked really good."

Making his first appearance against A's hitters, rather than face his former Angels team in Tempe, Ariz., on Sunday, was important to Kazmir, now scheduled to make his Cactus League debut against the D-backs at home on Friday.

"I kind of like that for the first time out, for the fact you can get up and down and use all your pitches," he said. "It gets to a point, you're a competitor, and if something doesn't go right, you bag that and try to get people out. This first time around, I was able to throw all my pitches, get all 15 pitches in each inning."

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.