On Tuesday the Rays nixed Scott Kazmir's hopes of pitching in the World Baseball Classic.
"I'm just disappointed,'' Kazmir said. "I was looking forward to it. I wanted to play for my country. It would have been exciting. At the same time, I'm trying to look at it some positives, that I'll be on the field with my teammates getting ready for the season.''
Andrew Friedman called the invitation "well deserved" and gave reasons for the team's decision:
“We felt like, with the health issues that he had last year coupled with the fact that we played an extra month, the prudent thing to do would be to push him back a little bit in spring as we were doing with some of our other pitchers as well,” Friedman said.
“We felt like the difference between pitching competitively in early March with ‘USA’ on your chest as opposed to sometime in the second week of March in a Grapefruit League game differed greatly in terms of what it takes to get to that point as well as the stress on the arm.”
This is good news to most of us Rays fans who didn't want to see Kazmir in action that early anyway. Sadly, at this point J.P. Howell is still pitching.