|Rays' ace Kazmir ready to pitch in a minor league game next week|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 11 April 2008 12:20|
The Rays' ace is on the 15-day disabled list because of a left elbow strain. He was shut down after experiencing discomfort while warming up for an intrasquad game on Feb. 26.
``I didn't feel nothing. Nothing at all,'' Kazmir said.
Kazmir the reigning AL strikeout champion, went 13-9 with a 3.48 ERA last season. He could rejoin the team before the end of the month.
``He did really well,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said. ``His last fastball was probably mid 90's. He's chomping at the bit.''
Rocco Baldelli was one of the hitters who faced Kazmir, taking batting practice for the first time since spring training. The outfielder has been sidelined since last May because of lingering hamstring problems and what doctors have told him and the Rays is mitochondrial disorder, a condition that causes extreme fatigue. He was placed on the 60-day disabled list last month.
``Nothing vastly improved,'' Maddon said. ``We're just taking it slowly, and evaluating it consistently. He wanted to come out and do this today, so that's a good sign.''
Pitcher Matt Garza, on the disabled list with nerve irritation in his right arm, will play catch for the first time Saturday.
Infielder Willy Aybar, slowed by a sore hamstring, had an MRI exam and was out of the lineup for the second straight game. There is a chance he might go on the DL.
Designated hitter Cliff Floyd underwent surgery on his right knee to repair a torn meniscus. He is expected to miss four to six weeks.