Odorizzi Not Twice As Nice
Last night’s outing against the Minnesota Twins looked good on the surface as Jake Odorizzi struck out five of the first six batters he faced. Mixed into those strikeouts was a harbinger of what was to come for Odorizzi later in the game.
Odorizzi needed 52 pitches to get through the lineup for the first time. While he had eight swings and misses, Twins batters extended at bats by fouling off 15 pitches the first time they faced him. Odorizzi induced 27 swings and got batters to expand their zone 12 times. The map below shows where Odorizzi located his pitches the first trip through the lineup as he focused mostly down and away to both righties and lefties.
By allowing Twins batters to see 52 pitches the first time through the lineup, they had a pretty good idea of what was coming the next time around and capitalized upon the situation. Odorizzi threw 36 pitches after going through the lineup once, but was not able to turn it over a second time. The eight batters that faced him twice saw just 36 pitches, swinging 15 times, missing and chasing just three times. They put five pitches in play – two singles and a home run – around three walks. The map below shows where Odorizzi located his pitches the second time in the lineup:
By the third pitch of the at bats the second time facing each batter, Odorizzi was ahead of just two of the eight batters he faced. He had trouble controlling his fastball throwing just 6 of 13 of them in the strike zone. This tends to happen for Odorizzi in the middle innings this season.
The first time through the lineup, Odorizzi worked the outer third of the strike zone whereas the second time around, he lived in the strike zone. That is a problem for a guy that lacks an established out pitch that can generate swings and misses when he needs it.
The second time through the lineup has been a problem for Odorizzi throughout his career and the 2014 season. All pitchers see a statistical degradation with repeated trips through a lineup, but Odorizzi’s have been rather extreme this season.
Odorizzi’s current process is hitting some speed bumps and needs to be realigned. The Rays can ill-afford to have him unable to complete six innings and tax a bullpen that is already on Ready 5 alert when Erik Bedard and Cesar Ramos are on the mound.