Texas Rangers Veteran Starter Won't Be Ready For Opening Day

The question throughout camp was 'will he start or relieve?' Now, though, with Opening Day just two weeks away, the question being asked of Texas Rangers veteran pitcher Jake Odorizzi is 'when will he be ready to pitch?'

And for manager Bruce Bochy, the answer is definitely not in time to start the season. 

“That’s a sure thing,” Bochy said. “I can’t tell you when he will be ready. We are going to be cautious.” He's now been placed on the injured list.

The 33-year-old Odorizzi has been suffering from "arm fatigue" this spring and hasn't faced any hitters. He last threw a bullpen 10 days ago. 

“I’m just trying to get everything 100 percent before we face hitters,” Odorizzi said. “I want to be diligent. You don’t want to start and stop. That’s part of the beauty of having pitching depth is you can do this the right way.”

The 11-year veteran was one of a number of outside arms the Rangers brought in to the organization this past offseason to bolster their pitching staff. And with the later additions of Jacob deGrom, Nate Eovaldi and Andrew Heaney, Odorizzi's job is likely going to be pushed into the bullpen, where he could take on a bulk innings role. Jon Gray and Martin Perez occupy the 4th and 5th starter slots.

Odorizzi finished last season with a 4.40 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP, splitting time between the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves.

Photo: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports