ARLINGTON -- Jake Odorizzi never threw a pitch for the Rangers. He actually may never throw a pitch for the Rangers.
The Rangers acquired Odorizzi and cash considerations from the Braves in exchange for left-hander Kolby Allard during the GM Meetings back in November, and he had one year remaining on his deal.
Instead of spending that one year as part of the Rangers’ fortified pitching staff, Odorizzi underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure on his right shoulder last week and will miss the entire season, which could be his only one in Texas.
“It's disappointing and dejecting probably more than anything, because when I got traded here, first talking to [general manager Chris Young], I liked his passion and his vision for what he had hoped for the offseason coming up,” Odorizzi said. “Following through with it all coming into Spring Training, we brought all these guys in, and not being able to take part is really upsetting. It's still tough to process, like, knowing that there's no there's no chance with this year.”
Though he endured a lengthy IL stint with a leg injury 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. That’s why it was even more of a shock that he entered camp with shoulder/arm fatigue.
Odorizzi ultimately did not pitch in any Cactus League games in Spring Training after lengthy discussions with team physician Dr. Keith Meister; rest and rehab were determined to be unsuitable solutions.
But despite not being able to contribute in a physical manner, Odorizzi wants to be able to help in the clubhouse and off the field whenever possible. He believes there’s value in being the kind of teammate that people can count on in any situation.
“I believe in what they designed this offseason,” Odorizzi said. “I think this team is really capable of doing some pretty good things this year. So I'll be here throughout the whole thing and just trying to do my part, whatever it may be.”
As much as he believes in conversations, Odorizzi said it can beneficial for him to be a “listening vessel” for guys who need to vent or rant, anything to get them through a day.
“We all get caught up with things throughout the year,” he said. “Sometimes it’s just good to just kind of yell at somebody and put it out there, I'm all for that. I told the guys, like ‘Any time you guys want to yell or you need to take something out, let me know. I'll sit here and let you guys talk to me for a while.’”
Odorizzi clearly enjoys helping others to an extent not all players do. He takes pride in turning into that kind of player as he became a veteran on his teams. Having somebody to talk to makes it more comfortable to go through the everyday processes of being an MLB player.
“A good teammate, even when he’s hurt, can help out his buddies,” said manager Bruce Bochy. “That’s what you're always looking for, a guy that’s going to hopefully help with his experiences, being positive, things like that. He's been around the game. He knows pitching. He's always had great pitch ability. He knows the league and he knows a lot of these players, so it’s always good to have another resource to help you out.”
Odorizzi cleary enjoys helping others to an extent not all players do. He takes pride in being that kind of player as he became a veteran on the teams he’s been on.
But when asked if coaching was in his future based on his desire to help others, Odorizzi simply chuckled.
“Yeah, my kids. My job in the offseason is to coach my kids.”