Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Kazmir still not ready for a return

The Rays want Scott Kazmir to have time to build up arm strength after straining his left elbow.

The Rays want Scott Kazmir to have time to build up arm strength after straining his left elbow.

TAMPA — Manager Joe Maddon insists Scott Kazmir is fine, that there's "not a thing wrong." Kazmir said much the same thing, that it's a matter of needing "just a little bit more time."

But Kazmir has been scratched from his scheduled exhibition debut today, with the Rays saying he needs to "build up more arm strength" to be game ready, and they are uncertain when he will be able to go.

As much as the Rays insist it is no big deal, any delay has to be a concern because it not only makes it official Kazmir won't be ready for the March 31 opener, but it increases the possibility he could start the season on the disabled list.

"This definitely falls under the umbrella of us being cautious," executive vice president Andrew Friedman said. "Our goal for him is to throw 200-plus innings this year, and we're not going to cut corners or cheat the process at all to ensure that he starts opening day or the second day of the season."

Pitching coach Jim Hickey said he doesn't consider the delay "a setback" and "wouldn't say he's a DL guy." Neither did Kazmir, who remains hopeful of pitching in the season's first week: "We will see. I'm just not going to rush it."

Optimistically, the Rays say Kazmir, who strained his left elbow Feb. 26, could throw a bullpen session Tuesday or Wednesday but even then might not get into a game until the following week.

And reliever Kurt Birkins left Saturday's game at Disney with tightness in his left elbow, but the Rays say it is more likely a nerve issue than a ligament problem. His 2006 season with Baltimore was cut short because of a similar problem.

Kazmir still not ready for a return 03/15/08 [Last modified: Saturday, March 15, 2008 11:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. The greatest coaches never to win it all


    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  2. Bucs fans ranked 25th in study of NFL teams


    The Bucs and their fans are ranked 25th in an Emory University study of NFL teams' "fan base and branding analysis."

    Bucs fans were on their feet for this fourth-quarter play at home against the Carolina Panthers at Raymond James Stadium in 2015.
  3. With trade freeze over, Lightning could be active


    With the dust settling on the expansion draft saga, the Lightning can now focus on addressing some of its needs.

    The Lightning could target a veteran defenseman on the market, such as MInnesota's Matt Dumba.
  4. NBA draft: Jonathan Isaac could make FSU history tonight


    Florida State forward Jonathan Isaac will probably hear his name called early in tonight's NBA draft.

  5. USF walk-on tight end Palmore faces charge of credit card fraud


    A University of South Florida football player faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft following his arrest by Temple Terrace police on Monday.

    USF senior tight end Adrian Palmore faces charges of fraudulent use of a credit card and petit theft after his arrest by Temple Terrace police on June 19, 2017. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]