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Kazmir dealing with shoulder tightness

3/25/2010

For the second time in three days, the Angels had to scratch a starting pitcher due to an injury. Thursday, left-hander Scott Kazmir was pulled due to tightness in his pitching shoulder.

Manager Mike Scioscia told reporters in Tempe, Ariz. that the injury, caused by fatigue in the deltoid muscle near his shoulder, should not affect Kazmir's ability to start the season on time. He is slated to open April 8 against the Oakland A's.

On Tuesday, Ervin Santana was scratched because of inflammation in the bursa sac of his right elbow, an injury the Angels said was minor. Kazmir already got off to a slow start this spring due to a tight hamstring.

The Angels have a rotation of five proven veterans, but they have little depth beyond those five. If they needed a replacement for Kazmir, they likely would go with one of the Triple-A relievers such as Sean O'Sullivan, Trevor Bell or Anthony Ortega. O'Sullivan pitched in Kazmir's place against the Texas Rangers Thursday.

Reliever Matt Palmer is another possibility.