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Kazmir, Price throw; report no problems

2

April

The Rays top two prized lefthanders threw Wednesday, both rehabbing from elbow injuries - both feeling good about their progress.

Ace LHP Scott Kazmir said he felt great Wednesday after throwing his second bullpen session in four days, this time integrating his changeup in a 45-pitch session at the Naimoli complex.

Kazmir, rehabbing a left elbow strain, threw 35 fastballs, 10 changeups, feeling good about his command while a right-handed batter stood in the box.

"It just feels great," Kazmir said after the 13-minute session. "(My) arm feels live, feels like I'm getting good extension on the ball, and my mechanics are good. So I'm happy where I'm at."

Kazmir will next throw another bullpen on Saturday, mixing in some sliders. The lefty said he's still "shooting for" a mid-to-late April return, but that will depend on how he progresses.

Top pick LHP David Price, who left a minor league start Mar. 20 with a strained left elbow, played catch Wednesday for the first time since suffering the injury. Price said he threw from 60 feet 25 times, saying, "It felt good."

Price said he didn't feel anything when the first injury occured - "it just popped." "It was definitely scary," Price said. "But (there was) no pain, no stifness."

Price would have likely made the Vero Beach Devil Rays opening day start Thursday night. Initially thought to be six weeks away from his first regular start, Price said he'll throw four times in extended spring games before heading to Vero.

"I had nine months off this offseason," Price said. "So two weeks off isn't that much."

*In other injury news, INF Ben Zobrist continued to work out at Naimoli complex, his activities still limited due to a broken left thumb. Zobrist said he still hasn't played catch, or hit with both hands, and isn't sure when he's expected to do so.

Zobrist was expected to be the opening day utility man until he suffered the injury sliding into a base. On the 15-day DL, Zobrist is eligible to come off on Saturday, but is expected to get some work in extended spring first.

-- JOE SMITH

joesmith@sptimes.com

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:34am]

    

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