PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Everybody had the day off for the Rays on Wednesday afternoon -- except for Jake Odorizzi and catcher Rene Rivera.A starting rotation spot must be observed, which is why Odorizzi worked while his teammates rested and why the right-hander won't be accompanying the team to Cuba,
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Everybody had the day off for the Rays on Wednesday afternoon -- except for Jake Odorizzi and catcher Rene Rivera.
A starting rotation spot must be observed, which is why Odorizzi worked while his teammates rested and why the right-hander won't be accompanying the team to Cuba, as he needs to make his next start on Monday.
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Odorizzi went 9-9 with a 3.35 ERA in 28 starts in 2015. In three Spring Training starts prior to Wednesday, he was 0-1 with a 1.59 ERA.
Pitching in a Class A game, Odorizzi allowed no runs on three hits, walking none and striking out four in five innings. He threw 77 pitches, of which 53 were strikes.
Showing support were Opening Day starter Chris Archer, manager Kevin Cash and bullpen coach Stan Boroski.
"It was a great day overall," Odorizzi said. "Stan and I were just talking about it. [I] did pretty much everything we wanted situational-wise. Things were going really smoothly. We wanted to have some guys on base throughout the day just to work on pressure situations. [I] did that, knocked that off the list. Sat for a while after that situation and then got right back to it. Didn't miss a beat, so I'm extremely happy with how today went."
Odorizzi said he felt "great."
"All my stuff was good," he said. "The curveball was a little iffy, but I don't expect five pitches to be there day in and day out. I used a little more emphasis on the slider and cutter today since I hadn't really thrown any in the games yet. The last two innings, I started working on it, and I got to get a feel for it."
Odorizzi said he felt like he's where he needs to be at this point of Spring Training.
"The first time you go out there for five innings, you think you're out there forever," Odorizzi said. "Actually, you hadn't been out for two or three the first time. It was good to get up and down that many times, especially with the heat out there today. I'm happy with how everything went."
Odorizzi said he was not disappointed not to be making the trip to Cuba.
"I think it would have been cool to go see it, but at the same time, I know a trip to Cuba wouldn't be worth setting me back for the season," Odorizzi said. "If it was earlier in spring, where it's a 20-pitch outing, we could probably work around it down there. But being 95 pitches, I can't get my work in down there, unfortunately. ... You have to accept it, it's all good."
[Bill Chastain](mailto:[email protected]) is a reporter for MLB.com.