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Odorizzi lacks rhythm, but puts up zeros

Righty struggles to find feel for splitter, but manages to keep Phillies scoreless for 4 IP
Special MLB.com

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With Lance Lynn starting a Minor League intrasquad game on one of the back fields at the Twins' Spring Training complex on Sunday, Jake Odorizzi made his third Spring Training start, going four scoreless innings, giving up two hits and three walks with one strikeout, as the Twins beat the Phillies, 4-3.

"Odorizzi, I thought had a little trouble finding ... whatever word you want to use -- rhythm," said manager Paul Molitor. "It was a little bit labored, but when a guy goes out there and puts up four zeroes under those circumstances, that's a good sign, too."

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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With Lance Lynn starting a Minor League intrasquad game on one of the back fields at the Twins' Spring Training complex on Sunday, Jake Odorizzi made his third Spring Training start, going four scoreless innings, giving up two hits and three walks with one strikeout, as the Twins beat the Phillies, 4-3.

"Odorizzi, I thought had a little trouble finding ... whatever word you want to use -- rhythm," said manager Paul Molitor. "It was a little bit labored, but when a guy goes out there and puts up four zeroes under those circumstances, that's a good sign, too."

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But Odorizzi, who was acquired in a February trade with the Rays, wasn't entirely satisfied with his outing against the Phillies.

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"A little frustrating in the beginning," the right-hander said. "First couple of innings, I was trying to work on my split. I just didn't have a feel for it. It's such a feel pitch that I just had to stubbornly keep throwing it. In the regular season, I wouldn't have kept going to it in 3-2 counts, but now's the time to work on it and get it right. So I attribute one or two of the walks to just being stubborn.

"That's one of my go-to pitches, and so far in spring, I just haven't had a good feel for it. The only way to work on it is to keep throwing it, and by throwing it in situations where I normally throw it during the season. So, a little frustrating from that standpoint, but overall, 70 pitches in and one more time and we'll be ready to go for the real thing."

It was Odorizzi's first appearance in a Grapefruit League game since March 7 against the Red Sox. In his three appearances spanning a combined 10 1/3 innings, Odorizzi has allowed one run on five hits and four walks with four strikeouts, for an ERA of 0.87.

"Yeah, I wish that would translate to the regular season," Odorizzi said. "For what it's worth, Spring Training ERA [counts] for next to nothing. If you have a 0 or a 10, it's all wiped clean once March 29 rolls around. So it is what it is, but hopefully it can roll over and have some residual effects."

Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Twins on Sunday.

Minnesota Twins, Jake Odorizzi