Make us your home page

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

(View our Privacy Policy)

Rays' Odorizzi sees value of spring after fixing flaw in delivery

Jake Odorizzi loses his control momentarily Sunday thanks to a delivery flaw that he fixes quickly. “I’d rather it happen now than during the season,” the Rays starter says.

Getty Images

Jake Odorizzi loses his control momentarily Sunday thanks to a delivery flaw that he fixes quickly. “I’d rather it happen now than during the season,” the Rays starter says.

PORT CHARLOTTE — Sunday's start provided a good lesson for Rays RHP Jake Odorizzi on the benefit of spring training.

Odorizzi started sharply in the 5-4 loss to the Twins, striking out the first two batters. But, ever so slightly, he started leaning his head to the left as he went through his delivery, and as a result he lost his line to the plate and walked the next two.

Pitching coach Jim Hickey noticed, and Odorizzi was able to make a quick adjustment.

That SS Tim Beckham then booted a routine grounder that should have ended the inning, and that Korean import Byung Ho Park followed with a grand slam — his first home run — on a "here it is hit it" fastball, didn't take away from the experience gained.

"This is the time to work on things," Odorizzi said. "I'd rather it happen now than during the season. … It was just off for two batters, but sometimes that's all it takes."

Odorizzi, the projected No. 3 starter, faced nine batters overall, allowing one hit while walking three and throwing 42 pitches (24 strikes).

"Got my pitches in, so we're good," Odorizzi said.

SNOOZE BUTTON: The Rays are bringing in a sleep specialist to meet with players and staff this week, furthering their exploration of a subject they first looked into last season.

"We're very intrigued to hear from an organizational standpoint to get some input what we can do better," manager Kevin Cash said. "There is no denying the baseball lifestyle can be difficult at times as far as sleep. The things we've read on, we've done our research, we're going to have a guy come in and talk. It's starting to evolve."

FOR THE DEFENSE: The Rays have worked extensively on defense early in camp but made three more errors Sunday and lead the majors with 12 through five games.

"We've made a couple errors on balls I know we're going to make those plays during the season," Cash said. "But it's showed up and it's kind of hurt us in some of these games. And that's good for the guys to see, that's good for all of us, that shows the importance of making that routine play."

MORE MOORE: LHP Matt Moore makes his first game appearance of the spring today against the Red Sox after an impressive start to camp. Moore finished last season strong after struggling in his initial return from Tommy John surgery. "I've talked extremely highly of Matt Moore and the way he has thrown the ball," Cash said.

GAME DETAILS: Down 4-0 after Park's slam and 5-1 going to the ninth, the Rays (2-3) rallied before losing 5-4 to the Twins. With Juniel Querecuto aboard as the tying run, INF Ryan Brett's drive to left was run down by Darin Mastroianni for the final out. … RH closer Brad Boxberger made his first appearance of the spring, showing a good changeup while allowing a hit and logging a strikeout. He will be on a limited schedule this spring in anticipation of a heavy in-season workload. … Top LHP prospect Blake Snell had some trouble getting pitches down again in his second spring outing, but Cash said he was still impressed overall: "Man he's got some power stuff coming out of that arm." … Evan Longoria, getting a DH day with Taylor Motter at third, had his first two hits of the spring.

MISCELLANY: RHP Chris Archer, CF Kevin Kiermaier and Moore spoke to the 140 minor-leaguers before their first official workout of the spring. … Two boxes are set up in the clubhouse seeking equipment donations for Cuba. … OF Brandon Guyer is planning to play through Sunday, then take a few days off to be with wife Lindsay for the scheduled birth of their second child.

Rays' Odorizzi sees value of spring after fixing flaw in delivery 03/06/16 [Last modified: Sunday, March 6, 2016 9:41pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Bucs journal: Simeon Rice gives master class on sacks to defensive ends


    TAMPA — As the Bucs seek their first 10-sack season from a player since Simeon Rice in 2005, who better to help that cause than Rice himself?

  2. Bucs' annual Women of RED preseason party attracts nearly 2,000


    TAMPA — Theresa Jones is primarily a college football fan, but she wanted to get a taste of the Bucs. So the 46-year-old Tampa resident bought a ticket for the team's Women of RED Ultimate Football Party at Raymond James Stadium on Friday.

    Lee White of Seminole tries on a helmet at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on Friday, August 18, 2017.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers female fans descended upon Raymond James Stadium for the ultimate football party, the 2017 Women of RED: The Takeover, supported by Moffitt Cancer Center. CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times

  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 1:10 Sunday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Today: vs. Mariners

    1:10, Tropicana Field

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

    Blake Snell
  4. Bucs' Ali Marpet: Move to center could pay off big


    TAMPA — No player works as closely with Jameis Winston as the center. Only those two touch the ball on every play. Together they make — if you will — snap judgements about defensive alignments.

     Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Ali Marpet #74 warm up prior to preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at EverBank Field on August 17, 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images) 700069805
  5. Inside the Rays continuing historically bad slump


    The numbers tell the story of the Rays inexplicable ongoing offensive slump, and the words detail how tough it has been to deal with.