Tampa Bay Rays: Jake Odorizzi Strains Hamstring, Headed to Disabled List
Starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi of the Tampa Bay Rays strained his hamstring during his last start and is headed to the 10-day disabled list.
According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Jake Odorizzi of the Tama Bay Rays is on his way to the 10-day disabled list. The starting pitcher has sustained a left hamstring strain, although it does not appear to be too serious. Manager Kevin Cash told Scott Lauber of ESPN that he should be back soon.
For Odorizzi, the season has not gotten off to an ideal start. Through just 13 innings of work over two full starts and his injury-inducing outing, he has allowed six earned runs on ten hits and three walks. Certainly, this is a very small sample size from which to draw conclusions, but it still is not the best way to begin the year.
The right-handed pitcher has traditionally served as one of the Rays’ better starters. His first full season of work came in 2014, and he improved in the following years. Combining a penchant for limiting walks with an excellent ability to avoid hits has allowed him to find success at the major-league level.
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Perhaps his biggest challenge has been allowing too many home runs. Odorizzi often pitches high in the strike zone with his fastball, and this has often proved problematic in the past. Last season, he allowed a whopping 1.39 home runs per nine innings – a figure that comes in well above average. Should he reduce this figure, his performance would greatly improve.
Still, the Tampa Bay Rays will certainly miss Jake Odorizzi’s talent for the time being. The Rays recalled Chase Whitley from Triple-A to take his roster spot, although Whitley is unlikely to take his place in the starting rotation. Instead, Connor Byrne of MLB Trade Rumors writes that Erasmo Ramirez could fill Odorizzi’s spot, or the Rays could call up one of their many Triple-A options. Chih-Wei Hu, Taylor Guerrieri, and Jacob Faria could possibly serve in that capacity.
Given that Ramirez replaced Odorizzi after he fell to injury, it seems logical that he could continue pitching in that capacity. Ramirez, who will turn 27 years old in two weeks, spent the beginning of his career as a starting pitcher but transitioned to the bullpen full-time last year. Through roughly 90 innings of work from the ‘pen, the righty posted a 3.77 earned run average, which advanced metrics felt was a little too optimistic.
At the end of the day, the injury should not have too big of an impact on the Tampa Bay Rays. Odorizzi will probably only miss two or three starts, and his teammates should be able to handle the job in the meanwhile. This certainly will not break the Rays’ dreams of making the playoffs.
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