Since the first time he picked up a baseball in Little League, Jake Odorizzi‘s dream has been to play in the major leagues. At the end of the 2012 season, he finally did just that. Odorizzi made two starts for the Kansas City Royals and was halfway-decent, managing a 4.91 ERA. But even after his cup of coffee in the big leagues, Odorizzi entered spring training in 2013, with little chance of cracking the Rays’ roster. He had to just pitch the best that he could at Triple-A and wait for an opportunity. On Monday, all the signs are that he’s finally going to get it. With David Price on the DL and Chris Archer still recovering from a calf injury, Odorizzi will make his season debut taking on the Toronto Blue Jays
So far in 2013 at Triple-A, Odorizzi has put up good numbers, going 4-0 with a 3.83 ERA, a 9.5 K/9, a 3.0 BB/9, and a 1.4 HR/9 in 8 starts and 44.2 innings pitched. He had a 2.97 ERA with under 1 homer per 9 innings before struggling in his last two starts following 7 no-hit innings on May 5th. Odorizzi is not entering the major leagues pitching his absolute best and he’s really just making this start as a product of circumstance. But the fact that Odorizzi is coming to the major leagues not quite on a roll may in fact be a good thing. Odorizzi isn’t coming to the majors thinking he’s going to dominate and can just head to the mound, be himself, and do the best that he can. And if he does that, he can be a very good pitcher. Should be fun to see Odorizzi take the mound, and the Rays may have themselves yet another impressive young pitcher.