Around the Grapefruit League

Updated: February 18, 2007, 11:24 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Scott Kazmir looked good on the mound and felt fine afterward, which was great news for Tampa Bay.

The All-Star left-hander, coming off an injury that cut last season short, resisted the temptation to put his arm to a stern test on the first day of spring training. For now, he's content with gradually working his way back to form.

"It felt real free, real easy," Kazmir said after throwing Saturday during a workout for pitchers and catchers. "It's kind of at the point where you want to test it out as far as you can. But this is not the time to do it right now. ... I feel really good where I'm at and want to just keep building up arm strength."

Devil Rays manager Joe Maddon and pitching coach Jim Hickey were encouraged, not only by what they saw from Kazmir but by the way another projected starter, left-hander Casey Fossum, threw after missing the final month of last season to have shoulder surgery.

Elsewhere in the Grapefruit League:

Houston Astros: Manager Phil Garner will miss Sunday's workout so he can attend the wedding of his daughter, Bethany, at nearby Disney World.

Bench coach Cecil Cooper will run the practice.

Los Angeles Dodgers: Juan Pierre, who signed a five-year contract with the Dodgers during the offseason, arrived at Dodgertown on Saturday during the first workout session for pitchers and catchers. He was among other early arrivals such as Andy LaRoche and Matt Kemp, two young players who will be fighting for spots this spring.

"I don't consider myself a veteran by any means so I look at it every year, I come out here and go all out like with a rookie mindset -- get here early, get my work in and going to the house," Pierre said. "It's something I have always done."

New York Mets: Mets manager Willie Randolph said he does not intend to pick a captain for the season.

When pressed, he said he might choose Tom Glavine if forced to pick one.

"He knows how to lead," Randolph said.

Pittsburgh Pirates: For the second straight day, a promising prospect for the Pirates, recovering from a major operation, took the mound.

A day after John Van Benschoten threw a seamless bullpen session, Bryan Bullington did likewise Saturday by throwing 40 pitches for his most intense workout since having shoulder surgery in October 2005.

"I felt great out there," Bullington said. "The change-up felt good. The slider and curveball are still coming, but I'll take it for the first one."

New York Yankees: Kei Igawa threw his first bullpen session to regular catcher Jorge Posada, and one of his first pitches sailed high, went through the gap between the door and the fence and nearly beaned a photographer.

"The first pitch that he threw, it was, I don't know, 6 feet off the plate, away. And another one away," Yankees pitching coach Ron Guidry said. "And then I asked the interpreter: When was the last time that he threw off of a mound?' And then he told me, 'November.' Well, now you can understand."

Guidry has been impressed with what he's seen from Igawa. He told him Saturday not to rush and to slow down his tempo.

"His command is ridiculous. He can throw the ball anywhere he wants," Posada said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.