Bill Chastain, of MLB.com, reports Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Scott Kazmir (elbow) underwent an MRI Tuesday, Feb. 26, which revealed the young lefty has a mild strain of his left elbow. He is expected to miss the next two weeks to heal the ailment.
For the Rays, it was good news considering they feared the worst when Kazmir left the mound after warming up that day. "Yeah, I think any time a pitcher walks off the mound initially, you always fear the worst," said Rays vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman in the report. "Relatively speaking, it is good news."
For the time being, Kazmir will be out until the inflammation goes down. He will be treated with ice, heat, exercise and anti-inflammatory medication. As soon as the inflammation goes down, Kazmir is expected to begin a throwing program.
With the team not knowing how long it will take for his inflammation to subside, Kazmir is also at risk to miss his first few starts in April. However, this is a worst-case scenario, and he could possibly be ready on Opening Day. At this point, the team is waiting to see how he recovers over the next couple weeks. He could be ready to begin a throwing program in two weeks.
For fantasy purposes, Kazmir's value shouldn't take a big hit. He showed he was durable by throwing 206 2/3 innings over 34 starts last year. Kazmir spent several stints on the disabled list in 2006 with shoulder problems, so despite the lack of urgency with this injury, fantasy drafters may want to follow these developments and try not to reach for him on draft day. He has just turned 24 years old and should only be gaining more strength in his arm. However, it is something to keep an eye on during spring training; he could require a replacement for a few spot starts at the beginning of April.
About Bryce McRae
Bryce McRae is a Managing Editor with KFFL and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1999. He joined KFFL as a volunteer writer in March 2005 before becoming a Hot off the Wire Analyst in March 2006. He began working in his current capacity in September 2008. His work has appeared on fantasy sports sites such as Yahoo! and CBS Sportsline as well as in print. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 2008 with a B.A. in History and U.S. Studies.
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