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)

Rays' Odorizzi sharp in start against minor-leaguers

Jake Odorizzi is pleased to be able to stretch out to five innings after going in with 52/3 this spring.

WILL VRAGOVIC | Times

Jake Odorizzi is pleased to be able to stretch out to five innings after going in with 52/3 this spring.

PORT CHARLOTTE — For a guy who had to work on a hot afternoon when the rest of his teammates had the day off, RHP Jake Odorizzi made the best of his Wednesday minor-league start.

Odorizzi pitched five solid shutout innings against a Boston Class A minor-league team that included impressive Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada, allowing three hits while walking none and striking out four and throwing 53 of his 77 pitches for strikes.

"I'm happy with how everything went," Odorizzi said, "and I'm happy with how my arm feels right now."

As much as the work on his pitches, featuring the cutter and slider for a couple of innings, Odorizzi said the bigger accomplishment was working through five innings, having gone 1, 11/3 and 31/3 in his previous outings.

"The first time you go out there for five innings, you feel like you are out there for forever after you haven't been out there for more than two or three," he said. "It was good to get up and down that many times, especially with the heat out there."

Odorizzi, pitching from the No. 3 slot in the Rays rotation, has something of an odd spring schedule as he was lined up to throw on Wednesday's off day and again Monday, when the Rays will be working out in Cuba in advance of Tuesday's exhibition. As a result, Odorizzi will stay in Port Charlotte and throw in another minor-league game Monday, stretching out to 90 pitches.

"It would've been cool to go to see, but at the same time I know that a trip to Cuba wouldn't be worth setting me back for the season," he said. RHP Erasmo Ramirez also will stay home, as he is slated to pitch in Wednesday's exhibition in Fort Myers against the Twins.

While some pitchers don't like pitching on the back fields against low-level minor-leaguers, Odorizzi said he still finds it a productive exercise, even working through trouble in his one messy inning. Also of note, he got Moncada out twice, on a grounder to short and a strikeout.

"I'm not changing anything if I'm in the stadium or back here," he said. "From the work standpoint, the effort level was the same. My stuff was really good. So I can't be disappointed with anything I did (Wednesday), which is always a good thing in spring."

The Rays had big-leaguer Rene Rivera catch Odorizzi, though they didn't allow Rivera to bat given the potential control issue with lower-level minor-leaguers.

HI VARONA: OF Dayron Varona has been, and for the next week will continue to be, in the spotlight as he gets to make an unexpected trip back to his native Cuba for the Rays' exhibition.

But Varona, who signed last May and spent most of 2015 at Double-A Montgomery, has been impressing the Rays with what he does on the field.

"He's an interesting guy," manager Kevin Cash said. "He can run, he can really throw … he's pretty aggressive at the plate. He likes to swing."

MEDICAL MATTERS: 2B Logan Forsythe received treatment Wednesday on the right elbow that was hit by a pitch Tuesday and is expected to be in the lineup today. … Steve Pearce, who last played March 7 due to right calf tightness, is slated to return today as the DH.

PITCHING IN: The Rays are planning on having Ramirez work in a minor-league game Friday rather than face the divisional opponent Red Sox, and may do the same with LHP Drew Smyly on Sunday against the Orioles. … RHP Chris Archer, as of now, is slated to pitch Saturday against the Orioles, whom he would face in his second start of the season.

MISCELLANY: Former Rays INF/OF Eduardo Perez will be part of ESPN's crew televising Tuesday's exhibition from Havana, along with Karl Ravech, Doug Glanville, Pedro Gomez and Tim Kurkjian. "I'm excited," Perez said. "I really am. … I'm honored to be a part of it." Archer, who did some postseason TV work for ESPN, also may be part of the broadcast. … The Phillies will be wearing green-accented uniforms for today's St. Patrick's Day game.

Rays' Odorizzi sharp in start against minor-leaguers 03/16/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 16, 2016 8:22pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rowdies anxious to get back on track

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — Having already played four matches in less than two weeks' time, the Rowdies have to turn around again on short rest to host Saint Louis FC today.

    And they're actually glad about it.

  2. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  3. State baseball: Bishop McLaughlin bows out in Class 3A semifinals

    Baseballpreps

    FORT MYERS — One inning into Bishop McLaughlin's Class 3A state semifinal against Fort Myers Canterbury, things could not have gone much better for the Hurricanes. They grabbed a quick one-run lead and Canterbury ace Sam Keating was forced out of the game with a nagging neck injury.

     Chris Berglund (18) of Bishop McLaughlin, at bat during second inning of the FHSAA class 3A semi-final on Friday May 26, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Canterbury, Fort Myers, defeated Bishop 7 to 4. Canterbury will play in the 3A championship tomorrow.
  4. Bucs WR DeSean Jackson knows only one direction: full speed ahead

    Sports

    TAMPA — DeSean Jackson is the "1."

    Actually, Jackson, the Bucs' latest weapon for quarterback Jameis Winston, with his blazing speed and game-changing splash plays, wears No. 11 in games.

    DeSean Jackson, a needed game-breaker for Bucs who signed a $33.5 million deal, welcomes big expectations.
  5. Video preview: Rays open tough road trip facing Twins tonight

    Blogs

    After splitting a four-game series against the Angels to wrap up a winning homestand, the Rays tonight open a nine-game, 10-day roadtrip with the first game of the weekend series with the Twins: