The Rays confirmed late Saturday that 23-year-old right-hander Jake Odorizzi, who was acquired from the Royals this winter in the James Shields trade, will make his debut for Tampa Bay in Monday afternoon’s series opener against the Blue Jays.
This from Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.
Odorizzi is filling for staff ace David Price, who hit the disabled list a few days ago with a strained left triceps muscle. Price is still out indefinitely, so Jake’s stay in the major leagues could last a while.
Odorizzi was the 32nd overall pick in the 2008 MLB Amateur Draft out of a southern Illinois high school. He was sporting a 3.83 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 47/15 K/BB ratio through 44 2/3 innings this season at Triple-A Durham.
“Jake, by a series of different reasons, got the nod. We felt good about all of them,” Rays manager Joe Maddon told reporters on Saturday. “I hear he had been doing a great job (in Durham). Here’s a guy who went about his business really well (in the spring), has a nice makeup, has a nice way about him. So we felt confident starting him on Monday.”
We’ve heard the back and forth between players and owners on money, on safety, on the size and the shape of the season. But not until now have we heard just how little baseball Major League Baseball and its owners actually want: 48 games.
That’s all they want, at least if they have to, as agreed, pay players their prorated salaries on a per-game basis. That’s the report from ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who writes this morning on the state of the current negotiations.
Passan’s article has a lot more than that. It contains a number of financial calculations about how much teams say they stand to lose per game played under any given scenario. That said, given the near total opacity when it comes to owner finances, we have no real way to evaluate the claims. The players have a bit more access to league financials, but even they are reported to be unsatisfied with what the owners have shared in that regard. So, while interesting, nothing Passan presents there is really convincing. It stakes out the positions of the parties but doesn’t really tell us much about the merits.
Which is to say that a 48-game schedule sounds like either (a) a bluff aimed at getting the players to offer financial concessions; or (b) a declaration from the owners that they’d prefer almost no baseball if it means that they have to lose any money. The whole “we’ll happily take the benefits of a good market but won’t bother if there’s a chance we might lose money” approach I’ve lambasted in this space before.
We’ll see soon which it is.