Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Ray Odorizzi impresses

Jake Odorizzi throws off a bullpen mound Tuesday in Port Charlotte.

JAMES BORCHUCK | Times

Jake Odorizzi throws off a bullpen mound Tuesday in Port Charlotte.

PORT CHARLOTTE — Blue-chip OF prospect Wil Myers has gotten most of the attention as the centerpiece of the trade that sent RHP James Shields and others to Kansas City.

But the Rays are excited about some of the other pieces they got back, and they got a good look during live batting practice Tuesday at one, RHP Jake Odorizzi.

"We keep talking about the delivery, and his ability to throw the ball where he wants to, I can see why: it's very simple," manager Joe Maddon said. "I'm also seeing good makeup. I'm seeing the real calm demeanor even when he's out there. When you speak to him you kind of get that from him, and then you watch him and it's the same thing, and it's kind of nice. So he's very interesting."

David Price and most of the Rays' other starters gathered behind the cage to watch Odorizzi, and they, too, were impressed.

"Great stuff," RHP Alex Cobb said. "Price said he looked like a little (Zack) Greinke out there."

Odorizzi, 22, made it to the majors with the Royals at the end of last season but is likely headed to Triple-A Durham to wait his turn with the Rays. For now, he is just trying to fit in and not try to impress his new bosses, focusing on the drill at hand.

"I knew that people were going to be watching since it was the first time, but I just wanted to go out there and not do anything different than what I normally do," he said.

PITCHING IN: Look for RHP Roberto Hernandez to start Saturday's home exhibition opener vs. Pittsburgh, with RHP Jeff Niemann among those working in relief. The Rays had the scheduling misfortune of a split-squad opener, so they also have to staff a game in Fort Myers vs. the Red Sox. Prospect RHP Alex Colome is a candidate to start there. … RHP Joel Peralta said his stiff neck is all but gone and he expects to resume throwing on schedule. … RHP Juan Sandoval, the reliever who is blind in one eye, was pleased with his first batting practice session, though Maddon said he may have been "a little over-amped." … Cobb threw, as usual, without the protective screen many pitchers use, saying he feels it limits his extension.

IN THE SWING: Myers, who just tracked pitches during his first live batting practice session Monday, said he felt good enough Tuesday to start swinging. And that he did, taking a half-dozen hacks against LHPs Cesar Ramos and Jake McGee, fouling a few off but connecting on a couple line drives.

"I felt good in there," Myers said. "My timing was good. I was able to make some good contact on a couple balls, and I laid off some pitches that I needed to."

McGee said he was impressed, especially the way Myers took a middle-in fastball to rightfield. So, too, was Ramos: "You can tell he's strong, has some raw power."

MISCELLANY: There was work on bunt defense plays before batting practice and an extended session of situational hitting afterward. … INF/OF Ben Zobrist will speak and wife Julianna will sing in a free show at 7 p.m. Thursday at St. Petersburg's First United Methodist Church (212 Third St. N).

Times staff writer Joe Smith contributed to this report.

New Ray Odorizzi impresses 02/19/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 8:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Friday's Rays-Yankees game

    The Heater

    Did the Rays make the right call in picking RHP Austin Pruitt rather than top prospect Brent Honeywell? Though Honeywell had tweeted he was as ready as he'd ever be, the Rays felt better going with Pruitt, who gave them the five innings they were seeking.

  2. Damion Lowe returns to Rowdies after eventful Gold Cup

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — Pretty well emotionally spent, and not at all rested physically having just finished a life-changing stint with his native Jamaica in the Gold Cup, Damion Lowe wants the Rowdies to know he's ready.

    Damion Lowe, right, returns to the Rowdies — though he is likely to get a rest in tonight’s 7:30 home game against Pittsburgh — after an eventful six Gold Cup matches.
  3. Rays journal: Lineup dominated by Masahiro Tanaka in loss to Yankees (w/video)

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — Sometimes you just have to dig out the good news, and for the Rays on Friday it may well have been that they didn't get no-hit in a 6-1 loss.

    Austin Pruitt waits for Brett Gardner to round the bases after leading off the first with one of three homers Pruitt gives up.
  4. Rays at Yankees, 1:05 p.m. Saturday, New York

    The Heater

    Today: at Yankees

    1:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell throws against the Rockies during the first inning Tuesday. He left after allowing just one hit and striking out nine in six shutout innings.  {Associated Press}
  5. Steve Cishek latest bullpen upgrade for Rays, who now must translate that to wins

    The Heater

    NEW YORK — The Rays made another addition to change the look of their bullpen Friday in acquiring veteran side-armer and former closer Steve Cishek from Seattle.

    Reliever Steve Cishek has a 3.15 ERA in 20 games after recovering from offseason hip surgery and a 1.86 ERA since a rocky second outing of the season.