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5/25: Open game thread

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Roenis Elias Vs. Jake Odorizzi

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

How is the BBQ going? Did you properly marinate the meat? How's the temp control? Don't you dare cook that thing more than medium rare you philistine keep it nice and juicy. Good beer in the fridge? Maybe some of the newly bottled Pfriem? How about the Hops for Heroes Homefront India Pale Ale from always excellent Fremont? Are you enjoying yourself? Are you relaxing? You should be. I am at work. I am an idiot.

Jake Odorizzi was one of the non Wil Myers players the Rays acquired in the James Shields trade. In 2014 he put up a solid 168 innings, striking out more than a batter an inning on way to posting a 2.2 fWAR season in his first full season in the majors. Like Jacob deGrom and Garrett Richards he was a seemingly random opposing pitcher that shut down the Mariners last year, only to go on to establish himself as a quality major league pitcher.

Thus far in 2015 he has been a very different pitcher than the past and it's working for him. His K rate is way down from last year, 19.6% compared to 24.2% in '14. But the drop has come with a halving of his walk rate as well (4.3% to 8.2%). In addition Odorizzi's batted ball profile has changed significantly. In 2014 he was an extreme fly ball pitcher, garnering grounders a scant 29.9% of the time. So far this year that has jumped up to a much more normal 40.1%. It's all come together nicely for him as Odorizzi is running a 2.43 ERA and his 1.7 fWAR is in the AL among pitchers. Very, very Rays.

How has he done it? Well by controlling his walk rate and repressing home runs at an almost certainly unsustainable rate. Most interestingly he appears to be throwing a modified slider/cutter. Pitch F/X shows him using a cut fastball for the first time in his career, which he uses to supplement his fastball and change. The curve is thrown only 4.1% of the time.

So, basically Jake Odorizzi is throwing the Taijuan Walker arsenal only with less velocity and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more command. Watch, Taijuan. Watch and learn.

Justin Ruggiano in Centerfield against a righty, Brad Miller in Left field while the Mariners continue to fruitlessly run McAfee on Ackleybot's software, looking for that virus. Old friend Nick Franklin playing 2B for the Rays, who win despite having very few good baseball players. Also, very Rays.

At them with zeal, boys.

Game info
  • Mariners @ Rays, Tropicana Field, 4:10 PST
  • TV: ROOT, Radio, 710 ESPN, Online, MLBTV

Today's Lineups

Seth Smith - RF Brandon Guyer - RF
Brad Miller - LF Joey Butler - DH
Robinson Cano - 2B Evan Longoria - 3B
Nelson Cruz - DH Logan Forsythe - 1B
Kyle Seager - 3B Tim Beckham - SS
Justin Ruggiano - CF Jake Elmore - LF
Logan Morrison - 1B Kevin Kiermaier - CF
Chris Taylor - SS Nick Franklin - 2B
Mike Zunino - C Rene Rivera - C
Roenis Elias - LHP Jake Odorizzi - RHP