Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi and catcher Alex Avila are returning from the injured list, Dan Hayes of The Athletic was among those to report. The club optioned right-hander Randy Dobnak and infielder Travis Blankenhorn, who will be part of its taxi squad, to clear roster room.
The Twins have gone most of the season without Odorizzi, who didn’t debut until Aug. 8 because of a back strain. Then, after three starts, he returned to the IL on Aug. 22 with a chest contusion. So far in 2020, the 30-year-old has only thrown 10 innings and allowed nine earned runs on 14 hits and two walks (nine strikeouts). That isn’t what the Twins or Odorizzi had in mind on the heels of his first All-Star season in 2019, after which he accepted the club’s $17.8MM qualifying offer. Odorizzi could once again have the option of free agency in the winter, but barring an incredible run over the next several weeks, he’ll get there in the wake of a disappointing season.
Odorizzi will take over in the Twins’ rotation for Dobnak, a rookie whose 2020 got off to a tremendous start. But Dobnak’s low velocity and lack of strikeouts have caught up to him recently, as the 25-year-old has allowed at least four earned runs in three of his four outings since Aug. 29. In fairness to Dobnak, however, he has still given the Twins respectable production with a 4.05 ERA/3.97 FIP, 5.21 K/9 against 2.51 BB/9, and a terrific 62.1 percent groundball rate through 46 2/3 innings.