Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kazmir to rest, miss opening day start

This morning's St. Petersburg times offers good news and bad news for the Rays on Scott Kazmir. Good news is Kazmir doesn't have a serious elbow injury and will just take a few weeks to rest his elbow. The bad news is Kazmir will most likely miss his opening day start meaning James Shields will likely start his first opening day. Also, everything seems to be ok with top draft pick David Price who also skipped yesterday's game with some stiffness in his arm.

With Kaz out for at least two weeks, we will get an extended look at Jeff Niemann and Mitch Talbot, two candidates for the final rotation spots. If Kaz should have to start the season on the 15 day DL in order to get more time in extended ST, the Rays could just skip his first turn in the rotation without much shakeup in the normal rotation.

We received an update from the heater:

LHP Scott Kazmir has inflammation and a left elbow strain, but will be sidelined "weeks not months,'' executive VP Andrew Friedman said Wednesday. "Relatively speaking, it is good news,'' Friedman said. Friedman said the Rays would not put a specific timetable on Kazmir's return, but they expect him "at most" to miss only a few regular-season starts. The Times reported Wednesday that Kazmir is unlikely to make his expected opening day start and expected to miss about two weeks. "I expect it would be two weeks at least until he is throwing to a hitter,'' Friedman said.Friedman said an MRI and examination by Dr. Koco Eaton showed that "the nerves, the tendons, the ligaments, everything's intact.''