ANAHEIM -- Scott Kazmir needs a little time to allow his lower back to calm down after he aggravated it working with his right leg kick in a delivery designed to generate more drive behind his fastball and slider.
Kazmir, who has been placed on the disabled list, felt pain on the right side throwing before and after he was knocked around for five runs in 1 2/3 innings last Sunday in Kansas City by the Royals -- the shortest outing of his career. He has been replaced for now in the rotation by Matt Palmer, who took the assignment on Saturday night against the Blue Jays.
"We want to get his back calmed down," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of Kazmir, his fifth starter. "He'll definitely miss this start and maybe one more.
"He was trying to find his release point, and it set him back. He's probably going to need a Minor League rehab [outing] when he gets over the back issue."
Scioscia saw Kazmir fix a mechanical flaw after coming to the Angels late in the 2009 season, enabling him to finish strong. The manager is hopeful the lefty can do it again.
"Right now, there's reason to tinker," Scioscia said. "He's got to get in tune with some things that have gotten away from him."
Diminished velocity, spotty command and an erratic slider have been Kazmir's primary hurdles. When he was a two-time All-Star and American League strikeout king in Tampa Bay, he threw pure heat and vicious sliders past hitters. With pitching coach Mike Butcher at his side, he has been experimenting with his delivery, trying to find the key that unlocks everything.