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)

Rays: Kazmir appears headed to disabled list

ST. PETERSBURG — Left-hander Scott Kazmir may well be fine, as he and the Rays insist, needing just some additional time to build arm strength in his recovery from an elbow strain Feb. 26.

But the circumstantial evidence has not been particularly convincing. There have been repeated delays in the process, Kazmir was prohibited from even playing catch Sunday, and neither he nor the Rays can say when he will be ready to pitch in his first exhibition.

Then manager Joe Maddon acknowledged Sunday that Kazmir "more than likely" will open the season on the 15-day disabled list.

"There's no rush on this whole thing," Maddon said. "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."

The Rays and Kazmir say they don't expect his stay to be lengthy, and by backdating the move, he could be eligible to pitch as soon as April 5. But even in a best-case scenario, it could take longer as the Rays say they are determined to make sure whatever ails him now does not become a recurring issue.

And they seem to have persuaded Kazmir, joking that at 24 he now had a mature perspective, to see it the same way.

"We're just going to take some time to make sure everything's strong going into the season," Kazmir said. "It's a long season, and we want to make sure of that. I don't want to go three or four starts and go back on the DL or something like that. We just want to make sure we get it right."

The Rays said that Kazmir had looked "very good" in bullpen sessions and during batting practice Thursday and that the problem is only lack of arm strength. But when asked to be more specific Sunday, Maddon said: "It's just something on the backside of his arm. It's not bad. It really is not 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."

And Kazmir suggested the issue is more preventative. "It's just building up arm exercises, making sure we have support and strength for everything," he said. "You don't want some part of your arm not in shape as you want it to be and you compensate for something else and you have a different problem. So that's why we want to get rid of it now completely and go on."

Kazmir has been followed by whispers of injury concerns since the Rays swiped him from the Mets in a lopsided July 2004 deal for Victor Zambrano and is frustrated because he thinks the talk originated in New York as a means to justify the deal.

Indeed, there was chatter among scouts at Sunday's game that Kazmir had a more serious elbow problem than was being reported, which Kazmir flatly denied: "Not at all. None of that." And he admitted he has learned to take such talk as a challenge. "I'll just keep proving people wrong," he said.

When Kazmir was first sidelined, the Rays said they expected him to miss about two weeks, but initial progress accelerated the timetable. Kazmir acknowledged Sunday that "we kind of rushed it a little bit" and insisted it would be only a matter of time.

"It will just take a couple more days longer to get where we need to be," he said.

Marc Topkin can be reached at

Rays: Kazmir appears headed to disabled list 03/16/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 18, 2008 1:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Saturday's Rays-Mariners game

    The Heater

    SS Adeiny Hechavarria doesn't always look like he's going hard, but he showed impressive reactions Saturday in reversing field to catch a ball that clanked off the catwalk then firing to second to double up Guillermo Heredia on an attempt to tag up.

  2. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

  3. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000


    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

  4. Rays vs. Mariners, 1:10 Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Mariners

    1:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Blake Snell
  5. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big


    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805