Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Kazmir, Navarro back to throwing
Posted Apr 14, 2008 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Apr 14, 2008 at 05:51 PM
The Rays had said for several days that Scott Kazmir’s first game action in extended spring training, but he actually threw two innings this afternoon in Dunedin instead. Facing the Blue Jays’ extended spring crew, Kazmir threw 25 pitches—seven fastballs in the first inning and 18 total in the second, with some changeups and sliders mixed in—and said everything felt fine.
Next up for Kazmir is a three or four inning start for Vero Beach on Friday, followed if all goes well by another start for Vero on the 23rd at Palm Beach and one final tune-up two weeks from today, the 28th, for Durham against Richmond. That will put Kazmir’s season debut for the Rays on Saturday, May 3 at Fenway Park. Sounds like fun.
In addition, Dioner Navarro took a significant step in his recovery today. He got the stitches out of the middle and ring fingers on his right hand and threw to about 90 feet in the outfield. He also took 50 swings off the tee—25 from each side—and said everything felt fine. It looks as if there’s a chance he’ll be ready to come off the DL as soon as he’s eligible Sunday, but we’ll see.
Also talked briefly to Ben Zobrist. He said the pins will come out of his left thumb two weeks from today and he’ll go from there.
As for the game itself, Evan Longoria will bat fifth for the first time, as Joe Maddon said he likes the idea of Eric Hinske protecting both Longoria and B.J. Upton in a sense. For the Yankees, Derek Jeter is back in there after a six-game absence, and Chad Moeller is starting behind the plate after being called up from Scranton today. The Yankees are carrying two injured catchers who basically can’t play the position tonight in Jorge Posada (shoulder) and Jose Molina (hamstring), so they won’t have much flexibility in, say, hitting for Moeller late in the game.