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Kazmir likely to be All-Star spectator

CLEVELAND — Scott Kazmir is going to the All-Star Game, but most likely he's just going to watch.

Manager Joe Maddon said the Rays "prefer" that Kazmir not pitch and that he had talked to AL manager Terry Francona about it. Kazmir, who missed the first five weeks with an elbow injury, threw 104 pitches Sunday and is scheduled to start Saturday.

Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman, who has been in communication with MLB officials, said a final decision won't be made until today and would be "collaborative," not just made by the Rays.

"We're a little sensitive with him coming back from the arm injury, but we'll see how he feels (today)," Friedman said. "He threw 104 pitches so I'm not incredibly optimistic myself, but we'll wait and see. …

"It's hard to imagine especially if we're going to bring him back Saturday, but we're going to keep an open mind and see (today), and let him talk to (Francona) and people in the commissioner's office and see where we go."

Friedman said he didn't think Kazmir would be replaced on the roster.

Kazmir is eager to pitch but said he understood the Rays' position. "I guess we'll be communicating" today, he said.

Kazmir, 3B Evan Longoria and C Dioner Navarro were to fly to New York on Sunday night, bringing two new Rays uniforms with special All-Star patches on the right sleeves.

They have news conferences, Fox TV interviews, a team workout, the home run derby and the All-Star gala among other commitments today, with hopes to spend some time with their family and friends who are coming in. "My wife already went to the beauty salon," Navarro said.

BRIGNAC GOING, OTHERS COMING: With RHP Al Reyes expected to be activated off the DL when play resumes and SS Jason Bartlett likely no more than a few days later, the Rays optioned SS Reid Brignac back to Triple-A Durham. He was 0-for-10 in four games.

Maddon said there was "a good chance" Reyes, out since June 10 with shoulder tendinitis, will be ready Friday. Bartlett (right knee sprain), whose absence has been glaring, might take a few more days but the Rays expect him to return during the six-game homestand.

RHP Troy Percival (left hamstring strain) will throw a bullpen session while home in California and hopes to throw a simulated game during Thursday's workout, but it's not certain how soon after he will be ready.

PREBREAK BREAK: After giving CF B.J. Upton Saturday off, Maddon rested LF Carl Crawford, who is in a career-worst 0-for-25 slump and said his left hamstring has been sore since playing centerfield July 7. "Whatever it takes to get him feeling really good in the second half, I'm all for it," Maddon said. "Obviously we're not going anywhere without him and B.J. and the middle of that batting order doing well."

RECORD SETTER: Reliever Trever Miller, who set a record last season by appearing in 76 games without a win or a loss, Saturday matched ex-Ray Bobby Seay's decisionless games streak of 116, the longest in at least 50 years. "I'm disappointed I don't have any wins, but I haven't lost any, either," Miller said. "I don't really know what to say. I'm a little indecisive."

MISCELLANY: Friedman said the losing streak and offensive slump will not impact their decisions on whether to make a trade. … Most players headed to their offseason homes for the break, with less than 10 taking the team charter flight back to St. Petersburg-Clearwater. … RH relief prospect Eduardo Morlan pitched a scoreless inning for the World team in the All-Star Futures Game, walking and striking out one. … The Rays and Jays will both work out Thursday at the Trop; the sessions are closed to the public.

Kazmir likely to be All-Star spectator 07/13/08 [Last modified: Monday, July 14, 2008 7:37pm]
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