March 7, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Scott Kazmir (26) pitches in the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Athletics Scratch Scott Kazmir From Monday Start, Injury Called ‘Very Minor’


The Oakland Athletics scratched left-hander Scott Kazmir from his scheduled Cactus League start on Monday with stiffness in his left triceps.

According to MLB.com, assistant general manager David Forst called the injury “very minor” and expects Kazmir to return to the mound within a couple of days.

“He probably could’ve pitched today,” Forst said. “There’s no reason to push the issue. He’s going to see Dr. (Doug) Freedberg right now, just to get an orthopedist to look at it, but he’ll likely pitch tomorrow or Wednesday. This is strictly muscle tightness right now until we hear something otherwise.”

Kazmir, 30, has made two starts this spring and has thrown seven shutout innings. He signed with the A’s in December after a terrific bounceback season with the Cleveland Indians last year.

Kazmir was a two-time all-star by age 24 with Tampa Bay before arm trouble derailed his career.

He was originally drafted by the New York Mets with the 15th overall pick in 2002 out of Cypress Falls High School in Houston. He was traded to Tampa Bay with pitcher Jose Diaz in exchange for pitchers Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato. He debuted with the Devil Rays later that year and by 2006 was an All-Star for the first time, with a 3.24 ERA and 1.272 WHIP in 144.2 innings, going 10-8 with 163 strikeouts.

Kazmir led the American League with 239 strikeouts in 2007 and had a solid 2008 campaign as the newly named Rays won the American League pennant.

He was traded to the Los Angeles Angels in August 2009, but struggled in the postseason, with an ERA 7.59 in two postseason starts and a relief appearance, covering 10.2 innings.

Battling arm problems in 2010, Kazmir gutted out 28 starts and 150 innings, but had a 5.94 ERA and 1.580 WHIP with 93 strikeouts while going 9-15.

The Angels released Kazmir in June 2011 after he made one start and was rocked for five runs in 1.2 innings.

In 2012, Kazmir pitched for the Sugar Land Skeeters in the independent Atlantic League, where he had a 5.34 ERA and 1.672 WHIP in 64 innings.

But the Indians rolled the dice on Kazmir in December 2012  and were rewarded with a 4.04 ERA and 1.323 WHIP in 158 innings and 29 starts. He was 10-9 with 162 strikeouts—the first time he averaged more than a strikeout an inning since 2008.

Tags: Oakland Athletics Scott Kazmir