Sunday, February 18, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Odorizzi replaces Price for Rays

BALTIMORE — There were several reasons RHP Jake Odorizzi was picked to make Monday's start in Toronto in place of injured LHP David Price.

But the Rays will make another move first, calling up LHP Jeff Beliveau, acquired last month from Texas, to help the short-handed bullpen today. He likely will replace LHP Alex Torres, who worked four innings Saturday to get the 10-6 win over the Orioles, then be replaced by Odorizzi after today's game. Beliveau is 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA in 10 games at Triple-A Durham.

Odorizzi, 23, acquired from the Royals along with OF Wil Myers in the offseason James Shields trade, has been pitching well at Triple A: 4-0, a 3.83 ERA and 47 strikeouts in 442/3 innings over eight starts, including the first seven innings of a May 5 combined no-hitter.

Plus, the Rays like his makeup, his calmness and confidence, along with the experience of two big-league starts in September (0-1, 4.91). Plus, the other three candidates to replace Price had a flaw: Torres was needed in the bullpen, RHP Alex Colome has no big-league and limited Triple-A experience, and RHP Chris Archer is not at full strength after a missed outing and then an abbreviated one.

"Jake, by a series of different reasons, got the nod. We felt good about all of them," manager Joe Maddon said. "I hear he had been doing a great job (in Durham). Here's a guy who went about his business really well (in the spring), has a nice makeup, has a nice way about him. So we felt confident starting him on Monday."

J-MO A GO: C Jose Molina left in the fifth Saturday after his second double with left hamstring tightness. He said after the game he was okay. Maddon said it might have been a cramp and he expected Molina to be available today.

BAD START: RHP Roberto Hernandez said he was "a little bit surprised" Maddon pulled him one batter into the third with the score 4-3 Baltimore, saying he felt good and just had trouble locating a few pitches.

But after seeing Hernandez give up the four runs on seven hits in the first, Maddon said he didn't want to risk more trouble after Hernandez hit Chris Davis with an 0-and-2 pitch.

"I really didn't like that moment," he said. "I thought if we don't get him (out) at that particular moment, there was no chance to win that game."

EYEING EIGHT: LHP Matt Moore starts today sharing the major-league wins lead but avoiding much of the hype over his 7-0 start. "I try not to pay too much attention to it anyways, but I think it's great how well we're playing on the day I pitch," he said. "Eight of eight (wins) is what I keep hearing, and that's kind of what every starter wants, regardless of whether you win the game … that the team wins that game."

no answers: RHP Jeremy Hellickson didn't have answers for his latest troubling outing Friday in the Rays' 12-10 win, but he did have good perspective about getting the win despite allowing eight runs, tying another team record held by Victor Zambrano.

"That was probably my ugliest 'dub,' " Hellickson said.

Hellickson went into the eighth with a 12-4 lead but failed to finish the inning. In the process, the Elias Sports Bureau said, he became the first pitcher to work at least seven innings, give up eight or more earned runs and win since the White Sox's Britt Burns in 1985.

MISCELLANY: 3B Evan Longoria's ninth-inning bloop double extended his hitting steak to a career-high-matching 12 games. Also, he has reached base in a majors-high 41 games. … Defensive replacement Sam Fuld made a huge running catch in left in the ninth. … With Joel Peralta and Fernando Rodney unavailable, Maddon used Josh Lueke in the ninth, with Jake McGee next in line. … Major League Baseball has ruled out June 3 as the makeup date for the Rays-Royals May 2 snowout. July 29 and Aug. 26 are other options.

Comments
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