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Oblique strain puts Odorizzi on DL

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays announced Tuesday that starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a mild to moderate strain in his left oblique.

"It's probably the best possible news I could have gotten," Odorizzi said. "We knew it was injured, and to what to degree, we found out today. It's not awesome news, but it's good news when you are talking about the injury."

In 12 starts this season, the right-hander has a 4-5 record and a 2.47 ERA. This marks Odorizzi's first career appearance on the disabled list, and he expects the return process to begin "some time this week" when he plays catch.

"It makes complete sense," Odorizzi said. "We need extra arms right now, and I wouldn't be able to make these next two starts anyway. I just got to attack the DL as I do getting ready to pitch, just both feet ready to go and everything I got every day."

In a corresponding move, the Rays recalled right-handed pitcher Andrew Bellatti, who could be an option to start Friday's contest against the Angels.

Bellatti's last stint with the club came on Friday when he pitched three scoreless innings before being optioned to Triple-A Durham after the Rays' 1-0 victory over the Mariners. In four appearances for Tampa Bay this season, he has tossed 10 innings, posting a 2-0 record with a 1.80 ERA.

"It's a shame under the circumstances for Odo," Bellatti said. "We hope he gets back in action soon, but until then I'm glad to be back and ready to fill the void."

In other Rays injury news, third baseman Evan Longoria is out of the lineup for the third consecutive game Tuesday, but says he is available off the bench and is confident that he will return to the lineup Wednesday after testing out his sore left wrist in the batting cage Tuesday.

Outfielder Desmond Jennings will undergo an exploratory scope on his left knee Wednesday. Rays manager Kevin Cash said that if everything goes well, the best-case scenario is that Jennings could return in 3-4 weeks, but he also said that he was not sure that was "very realistic."

"There is some uncertainty or unknown that you can go find out by getting a scope," Cash said. "He just wants to know what's going on and this is the best way to be able to find that.

"It's unfortunate that we have spent some time trying to rehab it and heal it and let it feel better, and it did, it felt better and then he goes out and plays one rehab game and it's back to square one. That was very disappointing for him and for us, so now hopefully we'll get some further clarity tomorrow."

Right-handed pitcher Kirby Yates had his rehab assignment transferred to Durham from Class-A Charlotte on Tuesday.

Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for
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