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Kazmir's return may be delayed

TORONTO — Indians LHP Scott Kazmir, the former Rays ace who was scheduled to begin his comeback Saturday at the Trop, strained his abdominal muscle during Monday's workout and might go on the disabled list, the Indians said Tuesday.

"He was playing catch (Monday), and he felt something in his ribcage," manager Terry Francona told "We're hoping he can throw a side (today) and pitch Saturday, but we have contingency plans. The hope is he's fine, but we want to make sure."

Kazmir was placed on the major-league roster earlier Tuesday, and LH reliever Nick Hagadone was optioned to the minors. The move was made so that Cleveland could backdate a potential DL stint or recall someone from the minors to face the Rays on Saturday.

Kazmir, 29, was an All-Star for Tampa Bay in 2006 and 2008 and led the AL with 239 strikeouts in 2007, also the only season he has topped 200 innings. His velocity and performance started to dip in the second half of 2008, and he posted ERAs of 4.89 and 5.94 the next two seasons.

Kazmir's last big-league start came for the Angels on April 3, 2011. He was 3-6 with a 5.34 ERA with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League last season but won a spot in the Indians rotation with an impressive spring, showing low 90s velocity and a sharper slider than he has in years.

REDS LOSE SLUGGER: LF Ryan Ludwick tore cartilage in his right shoulder while sliding into third base during the season opener and will need surgery, leaving the defending NL Central champions without one of their main run producers for an uncertain period. The team didn't project how long Ludwick will be out. Ludwick, 34, batted .275 with 26 homers and 80 RBIs in 125 games last season.

CANO DROPS BORAS: Yankees 2B Robinson Cano plans to switch agents from Scott Boras to a new company formed by musician Jay-Z's Roc Nation and CAA Sports. Cano, who can become a free agent after the World Series, will be represented in baseball matters by CAA Sports' Brodie Van Wagenen.

SANTANA SURGERY: Mets LHP Johan Santana had shoulder surgery for the second time in 31 months. The Mets said Santana, 34, had a tear repaired in the capsule in the front of his left shoulder. The two-time Cy Young Award winner is expected to miss the season. In other Mets news, RHP Shaun Marcum was unable to pitch a simulated game because of pain in his neck and will not be able to come off the disabled list to start Sunday against the Marlins.

CIVIL RIGHTS GAME: The White Sox will host baseball's seventh annual Civil Rights Game on Aug. 24 against the Rangers.

BRAVES: LH reliever Jonny Venters will be shut down for a month after receiving a platelet-rich plasma injection in his sprained pitching elbow.

DODGERS: LF Carl Crawford, who battled elbow inflammation this spring, sat out the second game of the season after going 2-for-4 in the opener as the team tries to treat the former Rays All-Star with extra care.

RANGERS: LHP prospect Chad Bell is scheduled for reconstructive elbow surgery today and will miss the season. Bell, 24, posted a 3.48 ERA in 142 innings at three levels last season.

RED SOX: SS Stephen Drew, who is on the seven-day concussion disabled list, has been cleared to play in games. He's expected to spend some time at extended spring training before rejoining the team.

Kazmir's return may be delayed 04/02/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 8:51pm]
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