Angels put Scott Kazmir on DL
A few hours before the Angels played Seattle on Sunday, Scott Kazmir said he was “definitely looking forward” to putting a horrid first half of the season behind him when he made his first start after the All-Star break Tuesday against the New York Yankees.
So much for that.
After the Angels’ 2-1 loss to the Mariners at Angel Stadium, Kazmir was placed on the disabled list with what the team described as fatigue in his left shoulder, something Kazmir made no mention of during a pregame interview. The move was made retroactive to July 11, meaning Kazmir could return as soon as July 26 when the Angels return home to play Boston.
Kazmir said his shoulder felt “a little achy” after a bullpen session Saturday, prompting his first trip to the disabled list since he missed more than a month early last season.
Manager Mike Scioscia said one of the Angels’ minor league pitchers would take Kazmir’s turn in the rotation against the Yankees. The most likely candidate is Sean O’Sullivan, who could start on regular rest after last pitching for triple-A Salt Lake on Thursday.
Scioscia will give his regular starters an extra day off. He could have moved each of them up to pitch on regular rest because the Angels don’t play Monday. As a result, the pitcher who replaces Kazmir will start twice on the upcoming trip — Tuesday against the Yankees and Sunday against Texas — instead of once.
Kazmir was rocked for a career-high 13 runs in his last outing against Oakland in what the left-hander called his worst start “by far” and had been a disappointment over the season’s first half, going 7-9 with a 6.92 earned-run average.
“It kind of feels like I’m thinking too much about where I’m throwing the ball and things start snowballing and the next thing you know you don’t really know what’s going on,” Kazmir said before being placed on the disabled list. “You’re just out there trying to throw to a spot, but then you look at your video the next day and you’re like, who is this guy?
“It just doesn’t feel like you’re really just getting after it and just being the pitcher that you are.”
There is reason for optimism with the two-time All-Star once he comes off the disabled list, however. According to STATS LLC, since 2006 Kazmir has the biggest improvement in ERA from the first half of the season to the second half among pitchers who have worked at least 600 innings. Kazmir’s 3.14 ERA in the second half is 1.60 lower than his 4.74 ERA in the first half.
“It feels like I get stronger throughout the year, that’s for sure,” Kazmir said. “I feel like my velocity, everything gets a little bit better.”
The Angels designated first baseman Paul McAnulty for assignment to clear a roster spot for infielder Maicer Izturis, who was activated from the disabled list. McAnulty homered in his first game with the Angels on July 4 before going into a prolonged slump.
“I got to play a lot and I have no regrets,” said McAnulty, who hit .136 with 11 strikeouts in 22 at-bats. “There’s no hard feelings whatsoever.”
Bobby Abreu made only his seventh start of the season as designated hitter, with Scioscia saying he wanted the outfielder to recharge a bit. Juan Rivera started in right field and Hideki Matsui in left. Abreu had the trio’s only hit as they went a combined one for 11. … The Angels’ victory Friday was the 950th of Scioscia’s managerial career.
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