Odorizzi says he has dealt with lower back troubles since the spring, as Mooney further reports (Twitter links). The hope is he’ll only miss a pair of outings. While the move would likely remove him from trade consideration, and he has previously been tabbed a trade candidate, that seemed unlikely anyway with the Rays firmly in contention.
Hopefully, the respite will give Odorizzi a chance to get his season back on track. While his 4.47 ERA is hardly disastrous, it’s also not what we’ve come to expect from the 27-year-old righty. While he’s maintaining a fairly typical blend of 7.8 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9, Odorizzi has surrendered 23 long balls in just 94 2/3 innings on the year.
That said, the injury — along with Odorizzi’s struggles — does serve to highlight the ever-present need to maintain adequate pitching depth. Tampa Bay has that in spades, so much so that it has long been speculated the organization would consider dealing from a surplus. But with Matt Andriese already out and Odorizzi now ailing, perhaps it’s less likely than ever that pending free agent Alex Cobb will be on the move.
On the other hand, as Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes, the Rays’ front office is still looking closely at the club’s postseason odds as it charts a course forward. Even with less than a week to go before the deadline, it seems, movement in the standings will impact the extent to which the team looks to add — or even push it toward considering a deal for Cobb.
The Rays are seemingly focused at this point on adding relief pitching as the deadline draws near. Perhaps hanging onto Cobb and the rest of the starting options will also help deepen the pen, though all indications are the Rays will look to make at least one outside addition.
To fill the roster spot created by Odorizzi’s injury, the club has recalled righty Andrew Kittredge, who has put up some intriguing numbers this year at Triple-A (in addition to making his first three MLB appearances). To fill the rotation spot, though, it seems the club could turn to Austin Pruitt; Mooney notes (via Twitter) that Pruitt was scratched from his scheduled outing last night.