ANAHEIM -- Right-hander Jake Odorizzi is ready to return to the mound for the Astros. When that might happen remains to be seen.
Nine days after he sprained his right foot while covering first base, Odorizzi on Wednesday proclaimed himself completely healthy and ready for action. He threw 20-25 pitches in the bullpen at Angel Stadium on Tuesday at a higher intensity than usual, and had no issues.
“I’m ready whenever they want to slot me in,” he said. “I don’t know when that quite is yet. We’re figuring it out. I think it might be changing on the daily. Who knows? You never really know. All I know is I’m ready to go. When my 10 days was up, I thought we were going to be good to go. We’re good to go.”
Odorizzi (6-7, 4.22 ERA) can be activated from the 10-day injured list as early as Friday, but it’s more likely that he returns to the rotation either on Saturday or Sunday against the A’s. Odorizzi’s injury, which occurred Sept. 13, came at the beginning of a stretch in which the Astros had 17 consecutive games without a day off. They were planning to use a six-man rotation, but have been down a starter since Odorizzi's injury.
Odorizzi, signed by the Astros in March, remains on the bubble for a spot on the playoff roster, so having a couple of starts before the end of the season could be crucial for him.
“It’s important to get out there and get my arm back in shape,” he said. “My weeks have been perfectly fine from my end. I just want to go out here and get some more innings, and I’ll be good to go for the playoffs. Just a matter of building that back up. I've felt good for a long time now and everything is trending that way. Just a weird thing that’s happened. It put a semi-speed bump in the way.”
The start against the Rangers on Sept. 13 was Odorizzi’s first since he was critical of the Astros for pulling him out of a Sept. 7 game against the Mariners after only five innings and 66 pitches. Odorizzi voiced his displeasure postgame and met with manager Dusty Baker and general manager James Click the next day to clear the air.