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Scott Kazmir to remain in rotation after hourlong meeting with Scioscia, Butcher

Kazmir_300 Scott Kazmir emerged from a lengthy closed-door meeting with Manager Mike Scioscia and pitching coach Mike Butcher on Wednesday with some new drills designed to help the struggling left-hander find his proper arm slot and assurances he will not be skipped in the rotation.

"We just wanted to get an understanding of where he felt he was, what adjustments need to be made and whether he needed some time to make those adjustments," Scioscia said. "He doesn't think so, and Butch doesn't think so, so he will make his next start Monday in Texas."

Kazmir is 2-3 with a 6.82 earned run average in six starts, and he's allowed 35 hits and 19 walks in 30-1/3 innings. He is averaging five innings and a little more than 100 pitches a start, his inability to put hitters away and his command problems leading to his pitch inefficiency.

Kazmir has struggled this season to find the sharp-breaking slider that was one of his most effective pitches in 2006 and 2007, and the velocity of his fastball is a few miles per hour down from its usual 94-mph range.

One possible culprit: Since he suffered an elbow injury in 2007, Kazmir's arm slot has drifted from an over-the-top delivery to an almost three-quarters delivery.

"I dropped my arm angle so I wouldn't feel the elbow," Kazmir said. "When I started to feel better, I tried to get back to where I was, but it's been tough. It's a bad habit. Hopefully, some of the drills will help."

--Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Scott Kazmir pitches against Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Credit: Allen J. Schaben.

 
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