Kazmir has good mound session

Kazmir has good mound session

BALTIMORE -- Scott Kazmir pitched off the mound Sunday morning during a bullpen session at the Raymond A. Naimoli Minor League Complex in St. Petersburg.

According to a Rays team spokesman, Kazmir threw 37 pitches, all fastballs, and everything went well.

Kazmir, who led the American League with 239 strikeouts last season, suffered a left-elbow strain prior to an intrasquad game on Feb. 25 and currently is on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to March 21.

Rays manager Joe Maddon said on Saturday that Kazmir needs to get "stretched out" to the point where he can throw five innings, or 90 pitches, before he's ready to rejoin the Rays' rotation.

Kazmir had been progressing nicely from his injury, but he was scratched from his first spring start on March 16. Subsequently, he was put on the DL, which means he will miss the first week of the season, at the very least. The earliest he could come off the DL is April 5, but it's doubtful he'll be ready to go by then.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.