Kazmir (arm) was released by the Braves on Saturday. How quickly things can change in Major League Baseball. Earlier Saturday, Kazmir was seen as the likely fifth starter for the Braves to begin 2018, but he left his Grapefruit League start with arm fatigue and it turns out that issue will end his bid for a rotation spot along with his tenure with Atlanta. This effectively cements Anibal Sanchez into the rotation, while Kazmir's future in the big leagues appears murky.
Kazmir left Saturday's game with arm fatigue, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The Braves' medical staff will give Kazmir a long look-over before the team decides on a course of action. This comes at a poor time for Kazmir, as he seemed in line to open the year in Atlanta's rotation with Luiz Gohara (ankle) sidelined. Now it seems likely that Anibal Sanchez will get the nod the first time the Braves need a fifth starter. Kazmir missed all of last season with a hip injury.
Kazmir is expected to make the big-league club as a long reliever and then take the ball when the Braves first use a fifth starter either April 8 or April 10, David O'Brien of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. The Braves could use a fifth starter April 8 if they want to give Julio Teheran an extra day of rest between his second and third starts while keeping the rest of the rotation in order. They could also hold off until April 10 if they really want to minimize Kazmir's usage in that role. Luiz Gohara (groin) is expected to join the rotation in early May, at which point Kazmir would likely move to a full-time long-relief role. The 34-year-old southpaw hasn't impressed in spring training, sitting at 86-88 mph with his fastball while logging a 4.66 ERA and .303 batting average against in four starts. The Braves owe him $16 million, so they will give him every opportunity to prove himself useful.
Kazmir (jaw) will follow Julio Teheran on the mound in Tuesday's game against the Blue Jays, Mark Bowman of MLB.com reports. Kazmir was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday with a jaw contusion. The injury is apparently not a serious one as he is already back on the hill. The veteran lefty is battling Anibal Sanchez, Matt Wisler, Lucas Sims and Aaron Blair for the final spot in the Braves' rotation.
Kazmir was scratched from his scheduled Grapefruit League start Sunday against the Astros due to a left jaw contusion. Anibal Sanchez will take the hill in Kazmir's stead. The injury doesn't sound like a serious one for Kazmir, but it's poor timing nonetheless for a pitcher who will need to make the most of his subsequent opportunities this spring to secure a spot in the Opening Day rotation. Kazmir is battling Sanchez, Matt Wisler, Lucas Sims and Aaron Blair for the lone opening in the rotation after Sean Newcomb officially sewed up a spot Saturday.
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