TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Scott Kazmir won't start on opening day after having his first scheduled spring training start Sunday pushed back a few days.
Kazmir has been slowed by a left elbow strain, which he felt while warming up for an intrasquad game on Feb. 26.
``It will definitely knock out the opening day assignment,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said before Saturday's game against the New York Yankees. ``We just want him to try and build up a little bit more arm strength before we put him back out there. He's fine. There's not a thing wrong with him. During the season he probably would have pitched today.''
Kazmir was scheduled to play catch on Saturday.
``Then he'll go back on the mound again, and then when I'm satisfied we'll put him into a game,'' Maddon said.
James Shields will replace Kazmir against the Tigers on Sunday, and could pitch the regular-season opener.
Kazmir, the AL strikeout champion, went 13-9 with a 3.48 ERA last season.
Rays left fielder Carl Crawford didn't play Saturday due to tightness in both his legs. He might return Sunday or Monday.
``He just came up a little tight today,'' Maddon said. ``I just think the field was kind of wet yesterday, and sometimes you run on soft ground it can happen.''
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