05/22/09 8:22 PM ET
Kazmir, Percival to disabled list
Reliever to consider future; Rays recall Brignac, Theyer
By Alden Gonzalez / MLB.com
Prior to the first of a three-game series against the Marlins at newly-named Land Shark Stadium, the club announced that starting pitcher Scott Kazmir has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right quadriceps strain, and closer Troy Percival will land on the DL because of right shoulder tendinitis.
To take their place, Tampa Bay recalled 23-year-old infielder Reid Brignac and 28-year-old right-hander Dale Thayer from Triple-A Durham -- though both are expected to have short stints with the club.
There is no immediate timetable on the return to the rotation for Kazmir -- who's DL stint is retroactive to Thursday -- but although he doesn't feel it will keep him out too long, executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said it will likely carry on past the 15 days.
Percival, however, may never be back at all.
The 39-year-old right-hander -- who turns 40 on Aug. 9 -- has been frustrated with his right shoulder problems and was not with the club in Miami. Instead, Percival flew back to his home in Riverside, Calif., where he will speak with his family and decide whether or not to retire.
Friedman said the two will reconvene early next week and figure out what course of action he will take.
"We're going to catch up after the weekend," Friedman said. "Just take a couple of days to clear his mind and get to a point mentally where he's got a better feel for where he is physically and where he is mentally."
Percival made three separate trips to the DL last year -- two for his hamstring and one for his right knee -- and did not make the playoff roster because of back problems. This year, he's struggled to a 6.34 ERA (eight runs in 11 1/3 innings) in 14 appearances.
Manager Joe Maddon spoke to Percival after Thursday's game -- when he gave up two runs in one-third of an inning against the Athletics -- and would not be surprised if he retired.
"He was really upset," said Maddon, who will use a closer-by-committee for now. "He felt he was inconsistent in just how he felt. And then yesterday his arm was really bothering him after the game.
"I was meeting with the press after the game, and the question was asked about people booing him, and what I felt about it. What I told them is sometimes we just have too short of memories. What happened last year really put us on the platform for better things to come and for years ahead, and he was a huge part of that."
So was Kazmir, who went 12-8 with a 3.49 ERA in 27 starts in the 2008 regular season.
But Kazmir said he was never right with his delivery after missing 30 games with a strained left elbow, and those new mechanics led to his right quad hurting -- which started while warming up in the bullpen before his May 9 start at Fenway Park.
At this point, the 25-year-old lefty isn't too worried about the quad, but he is concerned about getting his mechanics right so it doesn't happen again and his arm doesn't eventually suffer.
"It's me trying to cram in a lot of things right before my start to try to get back to where I was," said Kazmir, who's velocity has been down while going 4-4 with a 7.69 ERA in nine starts this season. "[The quad] would get to me going into the game, and I would try to tweak it or fix it during the game. That's just not the way you pitch out there. You've got enough stuff going on to worry about that."
Friedman didn't want to set a timetable because Kazmir's quad first has to heal up, and then he'll have to get his mechanics right again. In the meantime, he'll continue to throw off flat ground.
"It's a dual process," Friedman said. "We're going to treat the quad, get it healthy, and limit him getting on the mound until it is so he's not putting more strain on the arm in that time."
Kazmir said he looked at videotape of his delivery from 2007 compared to now, and the two were completely different.
"It's night and day," said Kazmir, who's never had a leg issue before.
"The way I was throwing was basically no elbow. I wasn't using the wrist. It was just me going out there kind of in protect mode."
To take his place in the starting rotation on Monday, the Rays are expected to call up young phenom David Price, who's 1-4 with a 3.93 ERA in eight starts for Triple-A Durham.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.