Odorizzi to start Rays' spring opener Wednesday

Ramirez (Thursday), Archer (Friday) set to take hill following righty

February 29th, 2016

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Jake Odorizzi will start the Rays' Grapefruit League opener against the Nationals on Wednesday at Charlotte Sports Park.

Erasmo Ramirez will start Thursday against the Orioles at Charlotte Sports Park and Chris Archer will start Friday against the Red Sox in Fort Myers, Fla.

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"It's just the day that it falls on for me," said Odorizzi, when asked about the significance of starting the spring opener. "I mean, I think we all know who our Opening Day starter is going to be. It's not me. It just sets me up for the season.

"It's cool to go out there and get the first game out of the way. One inning or two innings, whatever it may be. Just get through it. You know, work on fastball location in an actual game situation. And just get through it then as we build, start getting more in depth with some stuff."

Odorizzi went 9-9 with a 3.35 ERA over 28 starts in 2015. Unlike some of his recent Spring Trainings, Odorizzi is not trying to add anything major to his repertoire, as he did several springs ago when he developed his changeup.

"There's a few things that I want to work on, but they're not drastic things like before," Odorizzi said. "Just a lot of refinement. A lot of sharpening. Just how I'm going to use different pitches in different situations. Just try to use them more. Nothing crazy this year.

"This is just a 'Get ready for the season' year. Get through it healthy and be ready to go once April rolls around. So kind of a more laid-back approach for me this spring, as opposed to putting a lot of work into working on a new pitch or something like that."