It seems as though there could be some good news on the Kazmir injury.
Kazmir says if his next start were in 5 days he believes he could go.— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 9, 2015
Around this time of the year when a player leaves a game, Twitter and the Internet exploded with rumors of #HugWatch and a possible pending trade.
That was put to the test tonight when Oakland A's start Scott Kazmir was pulled from his start after only three innings, making everybody wonder what was going on. For a few brief moments, the baseball world thought maybe Billy Beane had pulled the trigger on a trade involving the left-hander. Instead, we learned that he left due to left triceps tightness, according to Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle.
Left triceps tightness for Kazmir— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) July 9, 2015
Back to Kazmir: 1st inning avg FB velo was 91.5 In the 3rd inning it dropped to an avg velo of 86.8.— MLB Daily Dish (@mlbdailydish) July 9, 2015
Scott Kazmir FB% 1st inning FB%: 62.5% 3rd inning FB%: 38.1%— MLB Daily Dish (@mlbdailydish) July 9, 2015
Losing Kazmir for any extended period of time hurts the A's in two ways. First, he has been a key to their rotation this season, which has kept them in the hunt for an American League playoff spot. In 16 starts this season, Kazmir has a 5-5 record with a 2.56 ERA. Secondly, any injury that forces him to miss time will make other teams a bit skeptical about bringing him into the fold, damaging his trade value.
A similar situation happened to Rockies closer Adam Ottavino, who was diagnosed with right triceps inflammation. While inflammation and tightness are not the same injury, Ottavino's injury later revealed an elbow injury that led to Tommy John surgery, leaving him out for the rest of the season.
There isn't a lot to go on with these arm injuries since some are more serious than others. Some can be healed with just rest, and with the All-Star break coming up, that is huge advantage for Kazmir and the A's. If the A's want to make a playoff push, or want to move Kazmir to get some prospects for the future, they are going to need his triceps to heal quickly.