Rays Release Aging & Underperforming Pitcher—He Refuses to Retire

He hasn't pitched in a big league game in two years; the Tampa Bay Rays gave him a shot this spring, but once again injuries limited his performance and he's now been released. Nevertheless, 34-year-old Jake Odorizzi has no plans to retire.

Odorizzi was only able to pitch in three innings during spring training with Tampa due to injury, allowing two walks and three earned runs.  In 5 1/3 innings at AAA Durham this month, the results were even worse: eight hits, seven earned runs, five walks versus only two strikeouts, and an ERA of 11.81. 

But the 11-year veteran, who sat out all of last season recovering from shoulder surgery, will attempt to continue his career in another organization. He says he's dealing with a hamstring strain, and will wait until he's 100% before throwing again and looking to catch on with a new team.

Odorizzi has faced numerous health issues over the past several seasons, including an intercostal strain in 2020, a flexor strain in his right arm and a tendon strain in his lower leg in 2021 and 2022, then the shoulder injury that kept him out of all of 2023. This spring, he's been battling a hamstring strain.

Over the course of his career, Odorizzi has compiled a 3.99 ERA, though he's only been below the 4.20 mark once in the last six seasons. He has a career WHIP of 1.25 and an 8.4 to 3.1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Photo:  Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports