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)

Scott Kazmir's first rehab start for Tampa Bay Rays goes smoothly

PORT CHARLOTTE — Throughout Scott Kazmir's rehab, both he and the Rays have been encouraged with how the left-hander felt — and pitched — during bullpen sessions and a simulated game.

But both wanted to see Kazmir do it in a real game. And after he pitched 42/3 scoreless innings for Class A Charlotte on Wednesday night, he was happy with the life and movement of his pitches, his efficiency (64 pitches, 44 for strikes) and how his body felt afterward.

"It's a huge step," he said.

And Kazmir, who said he's scheduled to start Monday for Triple-A Durham, believes he's close to rejoining the Rays rotation and resembling the form he had in 2007, when he last felt like himself.

"It just feels, at times, effortless," he said. "Like I'm not trying to do anything and the ball just jumps. And that's where I want to be. I want to be out there not worrying about mechanics; just doing what I do and getting hitters out. I feel like I'm not thinking out there anymore about what I'm doing, about what my legs are doing. I'm just going out there and throwing strikes."

Kazmir went on the disabled list May 22 with a right quads strain and to rework his mechanics. Kazmir gave up just three hits, striking out five and walking one. He said his changeup and slider had depth, and with his mechanics, "it's like night and day from where it was before."

Kazmir might have gone five innings if what could have been a six-pitch fourth not been prolonged by a throwing error. He was pulled due a pitch limit.

"With the delivery I had before, you felt nervous about pushing on the gas pedal, trying to get it going a little bit," he said. "With what I have now, everything feels perfect."

Scott Kazmir's first rehab start for Tampa Bay Rays goes smoothly 06/17/09 [Last modified: Thursday, June 18, 2009 6:49am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Major-league bullpens get stretched as starters take a seat

    The Heater

    Mike Marshall led the majors in appearances in 1973, with 92 for the Montreal Expos. The next spring, having joined the Los Angeles Dodgers, Marshall met his new manager, Walter Alston.

  2. Bucs get first new video director in 29 years


    When the Bucs took to the practice field this week to start OTA practices, they did so with a new video director for the first time in 29 years.

    Bucs video director Dave Levy, shown during the 2003 season, worked under nine different head coaches in 29 seasons working for Tampa Bay.
  3. Rays set to activate Tommy Hunter from DL


    The Rays plan to activate RHP Tommy Hunter from the DL for Thursday's series finale against the Angels.

  4. Steven Souza Jr. snaps out of slump as Rays defeat Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — After Tuesday's shutout loss to the Angels, Steven Souza Jr. stood in front of his locker and talked about his need to contribute to the offense.

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre (45) hugs right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) in the dugout after his two run home run in the second inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.