Rays manager Joe Maddon has named Jake Odorizzi the team’s fifth starter, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports. As a result, Cesar Ramos will contribute out of the bullpen. Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish also reports that Erik Bedard also opted out of his contract with the Rays, who hoped the left-hander would go to Triple-A.
Odorizzi turns 24 years old on Thursday and is looking forward to his first full season in the big leagues. In 29 2/3 innings last year, Odorizzi posted a 3.94 ERA with 22 strikeouts and eight walks. He has consistently been rated among the game’s top-100 prospects dating back to 2011.