Devil Rays call up LHP Kazmir called up, option RHP Nunez to minors

Updated: August 24, 2004, 10:11 AM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- The Tampa Bay Devil Rays called up highly touted left-hander Scott Kazmir from Double-A Montgomery on Monday in time for him to make his first major league start against the Seattle Mariners.

Kazmir was traded by New York on July 30 to Tampa Bay for right-handers Victor Zambrano and Bartolome Fortunato. The 20-year-old Kazmir, considered the top pitching prospect in the Mets' organization at the time of the trade, made four starts at Montgomery and went 1-2 with a 1.44 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 25 innings.

Kazmir was the Mets' first-round pick in the 2002 draft, and was pitching at Double-A Binghamton. He had struck out 259 batters in 203 1-3 innings in his minor league career before being traded.

"We were going to bring him up in September, but we decided to bring him up and give him a couple of starts on the road," Piniella said. "We're going to leave him in the rotation and let him pitch. He'll be here until the end of September.

"We're looking into the future and he's obviously part of our future."

To make room for Kazmir on their 25-man roster, the Devil Rays optioned right-hander Franklin Nunez to Triple-A Durham.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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