BALTIMORE -- Jake Odorizzi joined the Rays on Sunday as the guy the Rays have tabbed to try and fill injured David Price's shoes.
However, the Rays did manage to take advantage of the situation. The plan is to wait until the end of Sunday's game to activate Odorizzi, which allowed them to option Saturday's hero, Alex Torres, back to Triple-A Durham and recall left-hander Jeff Beliveau. And, unless some unusual circumstances occur during Sunday's game, Beliveau will head back to Durham after the game.
"I found out [about joining the Rays] on Friday before the game," Odorizzi said. "Traveled up here yesterday, got here about 3:00. My wife got in about 4, we had delays all around, but it was good travel. Just hanging out. Got here and put my stuff up, didn't hang around because I'm not official yet. I just wanted to get set up, see guys, say my hellos."
Filling Price's shoes means taking the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner's place in the Rays' rotation, beginning Monday afternoon against the Blue Jays in Toronto. Price went on the disabled list on May 16 with a left triceps strain.
"It's really unfortunate [about Price]. You can't replace David," Odorizzi said. "… His credentials are a mile long, so I just want to do the best I can. ... Obviously not compare myself to David in any respect. I just want to go and pitch my game, do what I do best and hopefully everything works out."
Odorizzi, 23, came to the Rays in the Dec. 9 trade that sent James Shields, Wade Davis and Elliot Johnson to the Royals. In addition to Odorizzi, the Rays also got Minor Leaguers Wil Myers, Mike Montgomery, and Patrick Leonard in the deal.
He was 4-0 with a 3.83 ERA in eight starts for Triple-A Durham.
Odorizzi made his Major League debut in September for the Royals in two starts against the Indians. He went 0-1 with a 4.91 ERA in those outings.
"It's the same as I when I was up last year," said Odorizzi when asked if anything will be different this time around. "I still have to go out there and throw, regardless of whether the roster's at 40 or 25. I just want to go out there and do well and make the best out of my time out here."
One of the joys of being called to the Show for Odorizzi came when he got to call his wife, Carissa, to tell her his good news.
"She was happy," Odorizzi said.
Carissa met her husband in Baltimore and will accompany him to Toronto.
"She's never been here, never been in Toronto," Odorizzi said. "She'll be there for my start, so that's always exciting."
Rays manager Joe Maddon was asked about his expectations for Odorizzi in his Rays debut.
"Hopefully he gets at least five or six innings in there," Maddon said. "He's not intimidated by all this stuff. He's got a nice way about him. He has a confidence about him. He's not over-amped about the whole thing. So for all those different reasons, I think he's going to be just fine."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less