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.
The Blue Jays announced on Monday the signing of lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. “Scrabble,” as he’s affectionately known, spent the first two and a half years of his career with the Blue Jays in 2009-11.
Rzepczynski, 34, hasn’t appeared in the majors since July 2018. He struggled across 44 2/3 innings with the Reno Aces, the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate, last year. He posted a 5.04 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 28 walks.
While lefty relievers are always high in demand, it seems likely that Rzepczynski will begin the regular season in the minors and serve as organizational depth for the Blue Jays.