HOUSTON -- Right-hander Jake Odorizzi, who signed a two-year deal with the Astros on March 8, is still on target to join the rotation for next week’s series against the Tigers at Minute Maid Park, general manager James Click said Thursday. Odorizzi was scheduled for his final tune-up Thursday night at the alternate training site in Corpus Christi.
“If he comes through that one OK, he should be stretched out enough and should be ready to go,” Click said. “We’re excited to have him, and we’re excited to see him here.”
Odorizzi would likely start Tuesday in Detroit manager A.J. Hinch’s second game back in Houston. With an off-day on Sunday, the Astros could move Luis Garcia to the bullpen and start Zack Greinke on Monday on five days of rest.
Odorizzi made two starts in Spring Training, but he needed more time to build up his pitch count, so he reported to the alternate training site.
“Usually, when you ask him how it’s going, he says he’s right where he needs to be,” Click said. “He’s a veteran, he knows how to get his body ready for the season, and just knowing he’s right where he needs to be gives us all the confidence in the world.”
Odorizzi, 31, is coming off a season in which he pitched only 13 2/3 innings with the Twins due to three stints on the injured list, but he was an All-Star for Minnesota for the first time in 2019. That season, he went 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA (128 ERA+) and 178 strikeouts in 159 innings.
• Right-handed reliever Andre Scrubb, who came down with a sore right shoulder late in the spring, threw in the bullpen Tuesday in what Click described as a “good step forward.” Click said Scrubb would need “a couple more of those” before being cleared to join the club.
• Veteran reliever Pedro Báez, who fell behind in the spring when he was diagnosed with COVID-19 and had to quarantine, is having a “slow buildup right now, making sure his body and his arm are strengthened properly,” Click said.
• Left-handed starter Framber Valdez, who broke his left ring finger in his first Grapefruit League start on March 2, is throwing a baseball again off flat ground.
“We’re going to keep a very close eye on the continued healing of the finger, but the fact that he’s able to start strengthening his arm and stretch out a little bit puts him on the right track,” Click said.