We know the news from yesterday’s game–Jake Odorizzi exited with left oblique tightness, and we are waiting for more information about the extent of his injury. There are two pieces of good news for the Tampa Bay Rays regarding the situation: thanks to an off-day, then only need four starters until June 15th, and Matt Andriese happened to be starting on the same day as Odorizzi at Triple-A. If Odorizzi will only miss one to three starts, everything will be OK. Of course, there is the concern that his injury is more serious than that.
Triple-A International League: Gwinnett Braves 4, Durham Bulls 3 (11 innings)
Andriese certainly could have looked better right as he is set to receive another big league chance, but he wasn’t hit around either. He went 4.2 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 2 and walking 2. His stuff wasn’t sharp and he labored, throwing 88 pitches, but he did what he could to keep Durham in the game. Overall, Andriese has a 2.70 ERA in 20 Triple-A innings this year, striking out 20 while walking just 5 and posting a 49.1% groundball rate. Despite his results this game, he has pitched well and is finally fully stretched out. This is the time to call him up.
If Odorizzi does need to go on the DL, Andriese would still be unlikely to be promoted in the next few days. Since he wouldn’t need to start for the Rays until the 15th, he could get one final tune-up for the Bulls on the 10th before being recalled to replace Odorizzi on the 15th. Andriese is certainly no Odorizzi, but he looked decent in the majors earlier this season and now has finally gotten into a regular routine. He can be a solid number three or four starter in the major leagues, and the Rays will need him to start reaching his potential now if Odorizzi will be out for a while.
Andy Oliver followed by allowing 2 runs in just 1.1 innings before Jhan Marinez tossed 2.2 shutout frames but allowed an inherited runner to score to tie the game. Jim Miller then allowed a walk-off homer to Ryan Lavarnway in the 11th, a rare black spot amid his strong season. Marinez has been even better, pitching to a 0.39 ERA and a 28-9 strikeout to walk ratio in 23 innings for the Bulls.
The Bulls took a 2-1 lead in the sixth on a Corey Brown 2-run homer before J.P. Arencibia tied the game at 3 in the ninth on a solo shot. Both of them registered multi-hit games, as did Taylor Motter. Arencibia has shown flashes of the power he was known for with the Toronto Blue Jays, hitting 8 home runs in 37 games, but he has just a .219 average and a .253 OBP.
Double-A Southern League: Montgomery Biscuits 5, Jacksonville Suns (MIA) 1
There are some teams that are willing to call prospects up to the big leagues from Double-A, and there have to be some Tampa Bay Rays fans out there who wish that their team would do that with Ryne Stanek. Stanek tossed 7 innings in this game allowing 1 run on 4 hits, striking out 7 while walking 2. He now has a 1.96 ERA and a 52.8% groundball rate in 11 starts between High-A and Double-A this season, and he has shown signs of upping his strikeout rate, going from a 5.7 K/9 in his first 6 starts to 7.7 in his last 5.
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On the offensive side, Tyler Goeddel had a huge game, going 4 for 5 with a 2-run home run. Goeddel has certainly cooled off after he was so hot to begin the year, but he still has a strong .290/.362/.409 line on the season. The Rays are hoping that he can catch fire again. Cameron Seitzer, meanwhile, went 2 for 3 with a homer, a walk, a hit-by-pitch, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. Seitzer now has a .294/.362/.425 line on the season, including .368/.458/.632 in his last 48 plate appearances. Any chance the Rays finally promote him to Triple-A and release the struggling Allan Dykstra? Seitzer isn’t a real prospect at this point, but doing so could make room for Jake Bauers at Double-A and Casey Gillaspie at High-A.
High-A Florida State League: Charlotte Stone Crabs 3, Jupiter Hammerheads (MIA) 2
The Stone Crabs were down 2-0 after 2 innings in this game, but they tied the score on a Kean Wong sac fly in the third and a Braxton Lee RBI single in the fifth. Then they finally went ahead on a Jake Bauers RBI single in the ninth. Bauers finished the game at 2 for 4, Wong went 1 for 3 with a double, and Lee went 1 for 2 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored. Dayron Varona also had a great game, going 2 for 4 with the first run scored. Varona is now hitting .375 for Charlotte and may not be far away from his next test, Double-A.
On the mound, meanwhile, Chris Kirsch is doing everything he can to get our attention. In this game, he went 7 innings allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on 5 hits, striking out 4 while walking 1. His groundout to flyout ratio was an outstanding 12-5. And on the season, Kirsch now has a 2.30 ERA in 10 starts, a relief appearance, and 58.2 innings pitched. His strikeout to walk ratio isn’t 2-to-1, but he has forced a 52.2% groundball rate and has looked even sharper of late. He has a 0.39 ERA and a 20-4 strikeout to walk ratio in 26 IP across his last 4 starts.
Low-A Midwest League: Kane County Cougars (ARI) 5, Bowling Green Hot Rods 3
Is this just bad luck for Brent Honeywell or reason for actual concern? Since his 7 no-hit innings on May 17th, he now has a 6.43 ERA in his last 3 starts. In this game, he went just 4 innings allowing just 3 runs, 2 earned, on 5 hits. On the other hand, he struck out 6 while walking just 1 and forced a 5-1 groundout to flyout ratio. On the whole, he has a 14-2 strikeout to walk ratio even during this 14-inning stretch of struggles. These last 3 games have been annoying, but we have to believe that he will be just fine.
Hunter Wood then allowed 2 runs in 2 innings pitched before Edgar Gomez finished the game with 2 scoreless frames. Offensively, Casey Gillaspie drilled a solo homer, his 11th of the year, while Hunter Lockwood drilled a 2-run double. Bralin Jackson also had a nice game, going 2 for 3 with a walk and a run scored.