The Cleveland Indians are not taking any chances with Scott Kazmir to start the 2013 Major League Baseball season. The organization placed the starting pitcher on the 15-day disabled list to make sure he does not injure his rib cage any more than it already is.
Cleveland named Kazmir the fifth member of their starting rotation about a week ago, but the veteran strained his rib cage in a game of catch at the beginning of the week. The injury will not force Kazmir out of the rotation for long, but there is no question he will miss a few starts. At this point, the Indians figured the best thing to do was not force anything, especially since the 29-year-old recently resurrected his career.
“We just wanted to be as conservative as possible,” head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff told Indians.com. “He’s come a long way professionally. In our minds, this was the prudent thing to do.”
Kazmir appeared in only one game for the Los Angeles Angels in 2011 in which he allowed five earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. He was abruptly released after the start due to back problems. The left-hander did not sign with any Major League team in 2012, even though he did work out for several scouts before the start of last season.
In four games (two starts) this spring, the left-hander posted a 1-0 record with a 3.46 earned run average, 13 strikeouts and one walk in 13 innings. His performance convinced Cleveland that he has what it takes to handle a role in the starting rotation, despite entering Spring Training as a non-roster invitee.
Triple-A pitching prospect Trevor Bauer is expected to make at least one start in Kazmir’s place. The 22-year-old posted a 1-0 record with a 4.50 ERA and nine strikeouts in five games (one start) this spring. He has made four Major League starts in his career in which he recorded a 6.06 ERA in 16 1/3 innings.