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Rays give Jake Odorizzi the fifth spot in the rotation

Mar 22, 2014, 6:10 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees Getty Images

Rays manager Joe Maddon has named Jake Odorizzi the team’s fifth starter, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports. As a result, Cesar Ramos will contribute out of the bullpen. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish also reports that Erik Bedard also opted out of his contract with the Rays, who hoped the left-hander would go to Triple-A.

Odorizzi turns 24 years old on Thursday and is looking forward to his first full season in the big leagues. In 29 2/3 innings last year, Odorizzi posted a 3.94 ERA with 22 strikeouts and eight walks. He has consistently been rated among the game’s top-100 prospects dating back to 2011.

  1. unclemosesgreen - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Now it’s time for Erik Bedard to end up where he was always meant to start this season – Philadelphia. RAJ on line one.

  2. kcroyal - Mar 22, 2014 at 6:55 PM

    This makes the Myers trade look even worse than already did for the Royals.

    • hittfamily - Mar 22, 2014 at 9:59 PM

      Boy will this be bad for Dayton if Odorizzi does well. He had some great prospects who busted, and traded the only good pitcher they have developed since Greinke.

  3. hittfamily - Mar 22, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    I disagree with this move. Not because Odorizzi doesn’t deserve it, but it likely makes him a super 2 candidate. It also means Bedard is gone, which isn’t a big deal, but more importantly Josh Lueke is likely gone as well. Lueke is out of options, as is Ramos, which means one goes to the pen, and the other is DFA’d. I don’t like Lueke, but baseball wise, it’s better to see what he can do in the pen, and Ramos can do starting rather than to cut Lueke, the player you traded John Jaso for, and blow a year of cheap service time of Odorizzi.

    Ramos starts. Lueke takes the last place in the pen, and Odorizzi starts in AAA. If Ramos or Lueke falter, DFA them, and bring up Odorizzi when his super 2 status has passed. It could just be that they aren’t worried about super 2 status though if their plan is to send Odorizzi down when Hellickson is activated. Or their plan could be to see how Odorizzi fares, and if he does well, and with all the starting pitching going down on teams wanting to contend, they’d feel more comfortable trading Price.

    They have always avoided making someone a super 2. This is a first, and I don’t quite understand it with the massive amounts of capable starting pitching they have at their disposal.

    • tamparey - Mar 22, 2014 at 10:38 PM

      JC Oviedo will likely start the year on the dl, opening a spot for Leuke. Also, Price is a super 2 so it’s not uncharted territory.

      • hittfamily - Mar 24, 2014 at 12:53 AM

        They tried to avoid it with Price. He wasn’t called up until May. He was good enough, he proved as much in 2008, but started 2009 in AAA.

        Oviedo hit 93 on the gun the other day, so I doubt he starts on the DL. The bullpen has Balfour, Bell, Peralta, and Mcgee as locks for opening day. Ramos likely takes spot #5, and if healthy, Oviedo is #6. That means Lueke is gone.

        With names like Brad Boxburger, Mark Lowe, and Cesar Ramos available in AAA, this isn’t a huge deal, but it could have been avoided. Ramos was having a good spring. Good enough that burning a cheap year of Odo wasn’t necessary, and DFA’ing Lueke wasn’t necessary..

  4. blingslade - Mar 23, 2014 at 6:21 AM

    Hmm..the Royals leadership gave away Odorizzi and Myers and they wonder why they’re almost dead last in attendance? #epicfail

  5. stevequinn - Mar 23, 2014 at 9:10 AM

    Jake Odorizzi is from just “up the street” in Highland Illinois. Great to see a local kid make good. If the Rays are going to start him, it proves Odorizzi has talent because Tampa Bay is great at evaluating talent.

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