Shoulder surgery sidelines Odorizzi for entire '23 season

April 7th, 2023

CHICAGO -- Just a week into the season, the Rangers' pitching staff has already taken a hit on the injury front.

Texas right-hander  underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure on his right shoulder on Wednesday and will miss the entire season, general manager Chris Young announced. The procedure was performed by team physician Dr. Keith Meister in Arlington. 

Odorizzi did not pitch in any Cactus League games in Spring Training due to arm fatigue, but rest and rehab was not a solution. 

“After further evaluation with Meister, they determined they had exhausted all methods in terms of non-surgical rehab and that the best thing to do was to get in there and clean it up,” Young said. 

The Rangers acquired Odorizzi and cash considerations from the Braves in exchange for left-hander Kolby Allard during the GM Meetings back in November. Though he endured multiple IL stints between his time with the Braves and Astros in 2022, he finished the season healthy and was expected to be a solid contributor to a deep Texas pitching staff.

“As he got into the offseason, and the throwing program, you'd have to ask him exactly how it felt, but the categorization explained to me was just an achy fatigue feeling and he wasn't bouncing back,” Young said. “Having gone through shoulder [injuries] during my career, I understand there's no rhyme or reason as to when it hurts or why or what causes it. I think it was more of a chronic injury than an acute injury and, for whatever reason, just this offseason is when it kind of took a turn for the worse.” 

Almost every move the Rangers made this winter was focused on improving the rotation and adding depth behind it. Odorizzi was the first offseason addition, but after the signings of Jacob deGrom, Nathan Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney, he fell down the depth chart and was expected to be a long-relief option. 

As Odorizzi missed most of Spring Training, Dane Dunning and Cole Ragans stepped up to fill that role in the Rangers’ bullpen. 

Even so, it's a significant ding to the Rangers’ rotational depth. Dunning and Ragans are still options if another starter goes down, but Glenn Otto remains on the IL with a sprained right shoulder capsule. Minor League options currently on the 40-man include Zak Kent, Owen White and Cole Winn.

“Jake, with his experience, we were counting on him to, whether as a starting pitcher or a valuable member of our bullpen, provide meaningful innings this season,” Young said. “We're not going to get that, obviously. I also say this is an opportunity for others to step up and take those innings. We've seen that already with Dane Dunning and Cole Ragans. I think the beauty of our staff right now is we do have pretty good depth. Our hope is that more depth materializes or develops in the Minor League system this year. As we sit today, it's a blow, but we knew we'd go through something like this.”