PHOENIX — The Dodgers received good news about pitcher Scott Kazmir on Tuesday, as MRI results showed nothing structurally wrong with his left hip. But when Kazmir might see game action next remains up in the air.
Kazmir had an MRI on Tuesday morning, one day after leaving his Monday start just 14 pitches in, and after just one pitch in the second inning.
"Everything came out great,” Kazmir said of the MRI results. “It's more of a functionality thing, stuff that we're going to work on. Different corrective stuff to ease some tension, and take some pressure off.”
Manager Dave Roberts shared Kazmir’s optimism that there was nothing wrong with Kazmir’s hip, but there are still steps to take before Kazmir will appear in a game. Kazmir will next throw a bullpen session, which could come as early as Wednesday but the more prudent time could be this weekend, a decision in the hands of pitching coach Rick Honeycutt.
"With that pen he's got to show some strength and be able to give himself a chance out there,” Roberts said. “If he doesn't feel like he could get off his back side or have that strength, we'll have to figure something out.”
Kazmir felt the tightness before Monday’s game, but tried to pitch through it, hoping his hip would loosen up. Roberts was not aware of the condition until after the first inning, but let Kazmir start the second frame, pulling him after one pitch.
"You can certainly appreciate a guy who wants to compete and do anything he can to pitch, but sometimes as an organization you have to take it out of their hands,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers’ pitching schedule is pretty set through Sunday, with some games even two deep with starters, and that’s not including Kenta Maeda, who will throw a simulated game on the back fields on Wednesday. Getting Kazmir in a game in that time frame could be unrealistic.
But whenever Kazmir does pitch next, he and the team seemed pleased at the MRI results, at least. Kazmir will continue to do exercises designed to help his hip.
"It's more restrictive than anything. There's no pain or anything like that. That was always a good sign going into this,” Kazmir said. "I think we're good as long as we stay on top of mobility and strengthening.”