Kazmir throws bullpen session

Kazmir throws bullpen session

BALTIMORE -- Scott Kazmir pitched off the mound on Wednesday morning during a bullpen session at the Raymond A. Naimoli Minor League Complex in St. Petersburg and continues to make progress.

"Kaz had a nice 45-pitch effort [Wednesday], felt really good," Rays manager Joe Maddon said.

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.

Of the 45 pitches he threw on Wednesday, 35 were fastballs and 10 were changeups. He will throw lightly on Thursday, take Friday off, and throw another bullpen on Saturday. If all goes well on Saturday, Kazmir will then throw a batting practice before pitching in game.

Kazmir is eligible to come off the disabled list on April 5, but Maddon said he needs to stretch himself out to where he can throw 90 pitches or five innings before returning to the club.

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