Kazmir "more than likely" headed to DL
Manager Joe Maddon acknowledged Sunday morning that LHP Scott Kazmir seems likely to open the season on the disabled list, though also reiterated that there are no major issues and simply a matter of building arm strength so Kazmir can go through the entire season without any addition problems.
Maddon said it was "probably more than likely" Kazmir would be sidelined at the start of the season.
"It just depends on when Kaz comes out and does this next throwing event, but there's a pretty good chance that he would not be available at the beginning of the season,'' Maddon said. "There's no rush on this whole thing. We believe he's fine. We just want to make sure that the arm strength is there and that we take care of this right now so that there is no lingering effect during the season. We just have to not give you a specific date right now but I don't think it's going to be very long.''
Kazmir was to make his exhibition debut on Sunday, now he won't even be allowed to play catch as the Rays say he needs to build "arm strength.'' Maddon said they don't know when Kazmir will return to the mound.
Specifically, Maddon said "it's just something on the backside of his arm. It's not bad. It really is nto bad. We're being really overly cautious right now. He threw the other day and he threw really well actually. He came out of it and we were just not satisfied that the arm strength was built up and we want to make sure any kind of discomfort is gone out of there.''
Kazmir also said it was not a major concern and they wanted to take "a little bit more time" to make sure he was fully ready. "I'd rather miss just a couple starts early in the year than miss a couple months during the year,'' Kazmir said. "I just want to make sure we get it right.''
Kazmir said he expected it to take "just a couple more days longer to get where we need to be at.''
There was some good news on C Shawn Riggans, whose left hand was only bruised and not broken, meaning he should miss only a few days.
LHP Kurt Birkins' elbow problems are the result of an irriated ulnar nerve, though Birkins said it was not a major problem.
LF Carl Crawford continues to have tightness in his left hamstring but is expected to play Tuesday.
INF Andy Cannizaro remains slowed by back problems and could get back on the field by Tuesday.
RHP Chad Orvella remains sidelined with shoulder issues but is improving.