Kazmir in Indians' rotation
Scott Kazmir's comeback has swerved into Cleveland's rotation. Kazmir, a two-time All-Star with Tampa Bay who hasn't pitched in the majors in almost two years, was chosen as the Indians' No. 5 starter by manager Terry Francona.
Kazmir pitched for the Sugar Land (Texas) Skeeters in the independent Atlantic League last season. After signing a minor league free agent contract with the Indians on Jan. 8, the left-hander outpitched a group that included Daisuke Matsuzaka to make the starting staff.
"I'm very proud that this has happened," Kazmir said. "Knowing where I was a couple years ago and being able to be here now is unbelievable. I guess hard work does pay off."
The 29-year-old Kazmir went 9-15 with the Los Angeles Angels in 2010 and made one start in 2011 before he was placed on the disabled list and released two months later.
Around the horn
Padres • Manager Bud Black announced that right-hander Edinson Volquez will start on opening day for San Diego against the New York Mets. Volquez started each round of the World Baseball Classic this month for the champion Dominican Republic. He was 11-11 with a 4.14 ERA last year for the Padres.
Tigers • Virgil "Fire" Trucks, who threw two no-hitters for Detroit in 1952 season and was the last visiting pitcher to toss a complete-game no-hitter at Yankee Stadium, died Saturday in Alabama. He was 95.
Astros • Houston is one cut away from finalizing its first American League roster. Brandon Barnes and Fernando Martinez won the backup outfield spots Monday as the Astros reduced the roster to 26 players. They will cut one more pitcher before they open the major league season Sunday night against the Texas Rangers. Erik Bedard, Alex White and Brad Peacock are still competing for final two spots in the rotation behind Bud Norris, Lucas Harrell and Philip Humber.
Blue Jays • Third baseman Brett Lawrie will start the regular season on the disabled list because of a strained rib. Lawrie felt discomfort in his left side during an exhibition game with Canada's national team against Cincinnati on March 6.