Jake Odorizzi has outperformed his peripherals in each of the past three seasons, but the gap was more pronounced in 2017. The right-hander finished with a low-4.00s ERA, but his FIP was more than a run worse at 5.43. His walk rate jumped from 7.0 percent to 10.1 percent and Odorizzi struggled with the long ball (30 homers allowed) as his groundball rate fell six percentage points to 30.6 percent -- well below the league average. He struggled mightily while working the third time through the order (7.52 ERA), but was bailed out by good fortune on balls in play (.227 BABIP). To his credit, Odorizzi held lefties to a .205/.285/.402 line. He made two trips to the DL, first for a hamstring injury and later for a back injury, but Odorizzi has made at least 28 starts in four consecutive seasons and should be secure in his role. Just don't be surprised if his chances to work deep into games are limited.
Odorizzi was bypassed for the start in Tuesday's Grapefruit League game against the Orioles for maintenance purposes, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. The decision to hold out Odorizzi is twofold for the Twins, as it allows the team to insert the newly signed Lance Lynn into the pitching schedule while building in some rest for Odorizzi. The right-hander is set to throw a bullpen session Thursday before returning to Grapefruit League action against the Phillies on Sunday, when he's expected to cover around five innings or throw 75 pitches.
Odorizzi is scheduled to start Sunday's game against the Phillies, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. Initially, Odorizzi had been tabbed with starting Tuesday's Grapefruit League outing versus the Orioles. However, the club decided to use Lance Lynn on Tuesday instead, opting to have Odorizzi throw a bullpen session Thursday then start Sunday's game. So far this spring, Odorizzi has thrown 6.1 innings over two games, allowing just one run on three hits and a walk.
Odorizzi has been traded to Minnesota from Tampa Bay for shortstop Jermaine Palacios, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. Odorizzi will move into the Minnesota rotation and help stabilize the top of the rotation that's set to miss Ervin Santana for at least a month with a finger injury. It's a curious return for the Rays, who gain a prospect not seen in the top 20 in the Minnesota organization.
Odorizzi left Friday's start with right knee soreness. This was Odorizzi's final start of the season anyway, so unless it turns out he suffered a freak tear to a ligament or something of that nature, Odorizzi's offseason shouldn't be impacted by this injury. He tossed four shutout innings and allowed just two hits with a walk and four strikeouts to end the season. Odorizzi's final ERA will be 4.14, the first time he has finished with an ERA over 4.00 since 2014.
Odorizzi (10-8) allowed one unearned run on three hits and two walks while striking out nine over six innings to earn the victory Saturday against the Orioles. Odorizzi gave up a first-inning run, but silenced the Orioles' bats the rest of the way while Lucas Duda smashed a three-run homer to give him enough run support to win his 10th game of the year. He's allowed just three earned runs over four September starts to lower his ERA from 4.85 to 4.26, and he's been a strong fantasy option down the stretch. He'll make his next start Friday against the Orioles.