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Righty Jake Odorizzi wins rotation spot with Rays

By Mike Axisa | Baseball Writer

Jake Odorizzi has a spot in the Rays' opening day rotation.
Jake Odorizzi has a spot in the Rays' opening day rotation. (USATSI)

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Right-hander Jake Odorizzi has won a rotation spot with the Rays, the team announced. He had been competing against lefties Cesar Ramos and Erik Bedard for the fifth starter's job this spring.

Odorizzi, 23, went to Tampa Bay in last winter's James Shields-Wil Myers trade. He made four starts and three relief appearances for the Rays last year, going 0-1 with a 3.94 ERA (98 ERA+) and a 2.75 K/BB. Odorizzi also had a 3.33 ERA and 3.10 K/BB in 124 1/3 Triple-A innings in 2013.

Baseball America ranked Odorizzi as the 92nd best prospect in the game last month. "Based on the adjustments and the ongoing improvements with his secondary pitches he makes at the game's top level, Odorizzi could be a strong mid-rotation starter," they wrote in their 2014 Prospect Handbook.

Odorizzi will join David Price, Matt Moore, Chris Archer and Alex Cobb in the team's rotation. Jeremy Hellickson will open the season on the DL as he recovers from offseason elbow surgery.

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