Kazmir's injury calls for Tribe roster shuffling

Kazmir's injury calls for Tribe roster shuffling

TORONTO -- The Indians planned on adding left-hander Scott Kazmir to their rotation prior to his outing on Saturday, but instead, they took that step a few days earlier than anticipated. The move comes in the wake of a minor injury suffered by the starting pitcher.

On Tuesday, Cleveland selected Kazmir's contract from Triple-A Columbus, adding the team's fifth starter to the Opening Day roster. To clear a spot on the active roster, the Indians optioned left-handed reliever Nick Hagadone to Triple-A.

Indians assistant general manager Mike Chernoff -- in Toronto for the season-opening set with the Blue Jays -- was scheduled to meet with reporters to discuss the move prior to Tuesday's game.

Kazmir strained an abdominal muscle during Monday's workout and might require a trip to the 15-day disabled list. By adding him to the roster now, Cleveland would be able to promote a starter who was optioned to Triple-A at the end of Spring Training.

Kazmir, 29, earned the fifth spot of the rotation as a non-roster invitee for the Indians this spring, allowing nine runs (eight earned) on 29 hits with 23 strikeouts and only three walks in 21 innings, which covers four Cactus League appearances and a pair of Minor League outings. His first start of the season was slated for Saturday against the Rays.

From 2005-08, Kazmir was a standout starter for Tampa Bay, going 45-34 with a 3.51 ERA over 689 2/3 innings and 742 strikeouts, including a league-leading 239 in '07. Kazmir then went 19-24 with a 5.54 ERA in 55 outings between 2009-11. After he went 0-5 with a 17.02 ERA in five starts at Triple-A Salt Lake in '11, he was released by the Angels.

Kazmir pitched for the Sugar Land Skeeters in the independent Atlantic League last season and for Carolina in the Puerto Rican Winter League over the offseason. He inked a Minor League contract with the Tribe during the winter and displayed a fastball in the 90-92-mph range this spring.

Hagadone, 27, posted a 0.93 ERA in 9 2/3 Cactus League innings this spring, helping him initially win a spot in Cleveland's bullpen.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.