Scott Kazmir can’t get through two innings in rehab start

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Scott Kazmir, who was banished to the disabled list on April 9 with what the Angels called lower back tightness, struggled mightily in his return to the mound Tuesday, giving up six runs in 1 2/3 innings for Triple-A Salt Lake.

He walked four and hit a batter before being pulled.

The Angels went as slowly as they could with Kazmir after he was roughed up all spring and then tagged for five runs in 1 2/3 innings in his one major league start on April 3.  He spent over a month pitching regularly in extended spring games before the Angels put him back in a real game today.  The result, though, was disastrous.

Since they have nothing to lose now, the Angels will probably keep Kazmir on a minor league rehab assignment for the next 29 days.  Once his month is up, they can either activate him from the DL or release him and eat the remainder of his $12 million salary for this year.  Looking at his performance today, it’d be something of an upset if he ever dons the team’s uniform again.

Zack Wheeler headed to IL due to shoulder fatigue

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Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to fatigue in his right shoulder, Newsday’s Tim Healey reports. The roster move is retroactive to July 12. Steven Matz will open up a two-game series in Minnesota, starting in Wheeler’s place on Tuesday.

As Healey notes, the soonest Wheeler can return is July 23, which would give him at most two starts ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Wheeler has frequently been brought up in trade conversations as he can become a free agent after the season and the 42-51 Mets have been freefalling.

Wheeler, 29, owns a 4.69 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 34 walks across 119 innings of work this season.