scott kazmir, oakland Athletics, MLB Hot Stove

Oakland’s Scott Kazmir scheduled to pitch Friday in Boston

UPDATE: June 2, 2015 11:02 am PT

Starter Scott Kazmir, who left his last start with “shoulder soreness,” threw a pain-free bullpen session on Sunday and is now scheduled to start on Friday when the A’s take on the Boston Red Sox at Fenway.

UPDATE: May 31, 2015 5:15 pm PT

When Scott Kazmir was pulled from his last start after the third inning, it was a scary moment for the Oakland Athletics. Still, no structural damage was found after an MRI was performed so there was still hope that Kazmir, whose next day to start falls on Monday when the A’s have the day off, would only miss one start.

That hope appears to be nearer to fact than fiction now. The San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser reported that Kazmir threw a pain-free bullpen session Sunday morning. Kazmir threw about 30 pitches according to Slusser who was able to speak with the 31-year-old left hander once his session had been completed.

“It was a little bit of relief how great everything felt after just a couple of days of rest,” Kazmir said.

A specific date has not been set for Kazmir’s return to the rotation however he will not be pitching in the team’s next series that begins Tuesday in Detroit. If he ends up slipping back into the rotation during the team’s following series in Boston then he may miss having to pitch against the Los Angeles Angels against whom he has historically struggled against.

So, it is definitely so far so good for the A’s and for Kazmir. Barring any setbacks the A’s next three series could be promising. The team is slowly beginning to turn their miserable start around taking three of four from the Yankees over the weekend.

Original text: May 29, 2015 7:00 am PT

A’s starter Scott Kazmir was pulled from his Wednesday start after the third inning. Spectators could see he was pointing to his left shoulder and the A’s later confirmed that the 31-year-old left-hander had been pulled due to “shoulder soreness.”

Kazmir had pitched well for having a sore shoulder. He threw 47 pitches not allowing a hit and striking out four in just three innings of work. He did walk three batters which catcher Stephen Vogt found to be unusual, he could also tell that something was wrong just by observing Kazmir’s demeanor.

“His body language on the mound wasn’t good,” Vogt said. “It was more grimace-y, just kind of like tight. That’s how he described it, that his shoulder was tight.”

Kazmir was replaced by reliever Dan Otero who gave up the only three runs the Detroit Tigers would need on a home run by former Athletic Yoenis Cespedes. The Tigers won the game 3-2.

However, the biggest worry of the day wasn’t taking yet another loss for the Athletics. It was Kazmir’s shoulder. Kazmir was taken to undergo an MRI. Both the team and fans alike were awaiting the results throughout most of the day and into the night on Thursday.

Kazmir, who had been an All-Star pitcher with the Tampa Bay Rays had fallen out of baseball after being traded to the Los Angeles Angels in 2009. He returned in the latter half of 2013 with the Cleveland Indians and after a good second half of the season signed a two-year deal with the Athletics.

Since joining the A’s Kazmir has been brilliant. He was an All-Star in 2014 for the first time since 2008. He finished the 2014 season 15-9 with a 3.55 ERA.

Kazmir had started this season off going 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA in 10 starts, accumulating 57 strikeouts in 58.1 innings. He is also the A’s prime trade chip.

If the Athletics, whose record is 18-32, do end up becoming sellers at the trade deadline then the speculation has been that Kazmir would be the one to go. He will be a free agent at the end of the season.

If he were to go down with an injury which manager Bob Melvin admitted he could not rule out, it would greatly impact the team’s chances of trading him and getting a good return.

“He probably felt like he could continue to pitch but it didn’t make any sense to. You could tell he was a little uncomfortable after the last pitch when he was coming off the mound. His body language wasn’t great so we didn’t want to push him,” Melvin said Wednesday.

Good news came yesterday afternoon when CSN Bay Area’s Joe Stiglich tweeted that the MRI showed no structural damage to Kazmir’s shoulder.

He’ll likely be skipped for his next start, which conveniently lands on the team’s next off day on Monday, to get a little extra rest. Luckily for all involved, at least for now, a trip to the disabled list isn’t necessary for the lefty.

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