Jake Odorizzi is expected to come off the disabled list and rejoin the Rays’ rotation this weekend after missing the past month with a strained oblique muscle.
Odorizzi threw 5.2 shutout innings on 73 pitches in a minor-league rehab start Monday at high Single-A, striking out six and walking one while allowing two hits.
Before the injury Odorizzi looked to be having a breakout season at age 25, starting 12 games with a 2.47 ERA and 63/15 K/BB ratio in 77 innings. He was acquired from the Royals as a prospect in December of 2012 as part of the big James Shields trade and has top-of-the-rotation potential.
Veteran reliever Jason Frasor, who signed a one-year, $1.8 million deal with the Royals in November, has been designated for assignment and dropped from the 40-man roster.
Frasor has a 1.54 ERA in 26 appearances this season after a decade-plus of solid setup man work, which makes cutting him loose seem bizarre. However, his 18/15 K/BB ratio in 24 innings is anything but impressive and the Royals are overflowing with quality bullpen options.
Finding a take for Frasor via trade seems like a strong possibility, because even at age 37 he could probably help quite a few teams in a middle relief role.
Josh Harrison has struggled to duplicate his breakout 2014 performance and now the Pirates infielder/outfielder is headed to the disabled list with torn thumb ligaments suffered Sunday while sliding into second base.
Harrison is expected to miss six weeks, meaning he’ll likely be out until late August or early September. Last season he came out of relative nowhere to hit .315 and make the All-Star team at age 26, earning him a long-term contract extension from the Pirates, but Harrison has hit just .279 with four homers and a .696 OPS in 75 games this year.
Pittsburgh will probably miss his defensive versatility as much or more than his offensive production, and for tonight at least Jung Ho Kang is starting at third base.