Dealing with a back strain since spring training that has recently flared up results in the Tampa Bay Rays placing Jake Odorizzi on the 10-day DL and recalling pitcher Andrew Kittredge from Durham.
It has been a consistent inconsistent season thus far for Jake Odorizzi and prior to Wednesday’s afternoon contest against the Orioles, the Tampa Bay Rays announced that they had placed the struggling right-hander on the 10-day DL with a lower-back strain.
The Rays have recalled Andrew Kittredge from Durham to take his spot on the roster, but it is undetermined who will make the start on Friday in Odorizzi’s place against the New York Yankees. More than likely Odorizzi will miss two starts, his scheduled start against the Yankees on Friday and next week against the Houston Astros.
Kittredge returns for his second stint only days removed from being optioned back to Durham to create a roster spot for Sergio Romo on Monday. In his first stint, Kittredge made three appearances totaling 2.1 innings while posting a 3.86 ERA.
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So far, Odorizzi has been an enigma and has become consistently inconsistent. Despite owning a 6-4 record, his 4.47 ERA and 1.26 WHIP are the highest of his career.
His strikeouts are down; his walks are rising and so are the home runs allowed (23) as he has given up home runs in 17 of his 18 starts and in 15 consecutive games. He is on pace to break his previous high of allowing 29 four-baggers (2015).
The lower-back strain is on Odorizzi’s left side, and because of where the strain is located, he has had difficulties finishing his pitches, which Odorizzi said has been the problem.
"“I just need to let it cool down and get back to being normal and being able to finish pitches. Because that’s the problem, because it’s restricting me from finishing pitches and getting completely through the ball. That’s kind of been the thing all year. A little more up in the zone, just because [I] can’t get through it."
“I just need to let it cool down and get back to being normal and being able to finish pitches. Because that’s the problem, because it’s restricting me from finishing pitches and getting completely through the ball. That’s kind of been the thing all year. A little more up in the zone, just because [I] can’t get through it.
The MRI taken earlier in the week showed no structural damage or anything more, which is a good sign. Nevertheless, manager Kevin Cash said that Odorizzi has been playing through this and that in his recent starts the strain has flared up and now is the right time to take care of it.
"We’re optimistic that with the rest he’s already had from his start (Sunday) to now, not throwing since then, that he’s improving pretty quick. We don’t have an exact timetable. With the TBA for Friday, we have a couple options we’re still trying to work through.”"
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Austin Pruitt was scratched from his start on Tuesday for Durham, so it is possible that Pruitt will be called up and start Friday’s game against the Yankees.
Hopefully the rest and treatment will be the cure-all so that Odorizzi can get back on track and be a force in the final two months of season.