After four innings and only 70 pitches, Scott Kazmir left his start on Saturday afternoon for the Dodgers due to what was described as a minor abdominal issue.
Kazmir insisted, over and over, that the injury was minor. He said he will make his next start, on March 31 against the Angels.
But Kazmir did not reveal this information readily while he spoke with reporters inside the visitors’ clubhouse at Peoria Sports Complex. As his teammates dueled the Mariners, Kazmir played coy with reporters, even though the evidence of his condition was obvious: The umpires granted reliever Adam Liberatore an unlimited number of pitches to warm up when the fifth inning began.
Kazmir allowed two runs and five hits and struck out five in four innings. And, given the Dodgers' miserable spring in which every day provides a new ailment, he lacked interest in joining the list of the injured.
Here is a transcript of the interview. One note: Kazmir was smiling for the duration of the discussion. His poker face lacks polish.
Was that how many pitches you were supposed to throw?
“Got my work in. Felt good. Felt good. Figured something out after the first inning. Was drifting a little bit. That’s why everything was finishing arm side. It’s kind of something I’ve had a problem with pretty much the whole spring. Kind of identified it, I guess you’d say. Everything got a lot more crisp after that.”
We have to go through this with everybody, though. You’re good, physically?
“I’m good. I’m good.”
You didn’t come out injured?
[Manager Dave Roberts] didn’t go to the umpire and say that the pitcher gets unlimited warmups?
“It might have been something, something was late . . . How do we put it? A late commitment to the bullpen. But we’re good. We’re good.”
That’s the last two starts you’ve gone the same way: A little rough beginning, then you figure it out as you go.
“Yeah, but I still felt like I was fighting myself a little bit, being able to get my arm out in front, and compensating a little bit. But this go-round, it really felt like something clicked. Once I was throwing some warmup pitches in the second inning, just really felt like I was able to get my arm out in front. . . . I was doing it without noticing. So once I really identified that, fighting myself just to make sure that I stayed back. Then after that, everything was coming out crisp.”
So it was Rick Honeycutt you were talking to in the dugout after the last inning. You were pointing at your hips and stuff because something was bothering you?
“No, no, not at all. I think I was just messing with my belt. That’s all that was.”
When’s your next start?
No doubt you’ll make it?
“No doubt. No doubt at all.”
So you’re not going back to the complex to get any tests or anything like that?
“No. Just getting my work done.”
We’re a little jumpy.
“I understand. That’s the way this camp has gone for everyone. We’re good.”
So you were scheduled to go four innings? Something had to have happened here.
“It was something just completely minor, that, literally, I was like ‘I’m ready to go out there.’ And it’s like ‘No, let’s not even test it.’”
Was it the abdominal area?
“Yeah. That’s all it was. And honestly, all the tests went well. Everything went great. Everything went awesome. So it’s really nothing to even identify. So we’re good. We are definitely good.”
When a guy comes out after four innings, with the way the spring’s gone . . .
“I get it. I understand. This is just one of those things where everything was going great, and it was just something where I felt comfortable, I felt good to go back out there. But guys made the decision just to shut it down, just precautionary.”
Do you think they’re a little jumpy right now, at this point?
“I don’t want to speak for them. It’s been a tough spring for the team. I just definitely don’t want to be on that list right now. Because I’m good. I’m 100% good.”
Are there dangers in trying to fight through injuries right now?
“No. I mean, I don’t know how many different ways I can tell you guys.”
We’ll keep trying.
We’ll check again tomorrow morning.
“All right, all right. Well, we are good. Everything went great.”
Follow Andy McCullough on Twitter @McCulloughTimes