ST. PETERSBURG - Jake Odorizzi didn't help his cause with his short outing Monday afternoon against the Miami Marlins, an outing that taxed the bullpen.
His fate was sealed after Jeremy Hellickson failed to complete six innings Tuesday.
With the bullpen overworked and the Rays playing a pair of games in a National League park beginning Wednesday night, Odorizzi was optioned back to Triple-A Durham after the Rays 7-6 victory Tuesday against the Marlins.
The Rays bullpen had to pitch up 8 2/3 innings during the two-game sweep of the Marlins.
“Part of the decision is based on usage of the bullpen right now,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “We have to make sure that we're covered in the bullpen so nobody gets hurt, and we can disperse the work properly. There's been a lot of craziness among the bullpen, so we need to square that up a little bit, too.”
The Rays will call up a fresh arm for the bullpen before Wednesday night's game with the Marlins. They will call up a starter Saturday in Cleveland when Odorizzi was scheduled to make his next start.
Odorizzi, called up May 20 to replace David Price in the rotation, said he would have liked to have had a chance to prove how well he can pitch at the big league level but understood the move.
“If I would've gotten the win (Monday), it wouldn't have really mattered, so it wasn't a reflection of outings or anything,” Odorizzi said. “It's just, they need somebody, and I'm the lucky guy, I guess.”
Odorizzi made two starts for the Rays. He pitched a total of nine innings and had an ERA of 9.00.
Maddon said pitching coach Jim Hickey sent Odorizzi back to Durham with instructions to work on a few things.
Odorizzi pitched five innings and allowed three runs in his season debut May 20 at Toronto. On Monday, Odorizzi was handed a 6-0 lead but didn't record an out in the fifth inning. His line read: four innings, eight hits, six runs.
“I'm disappointed,” Odorizzi said. “I was hoping to get some more innings, especially after that last outing. I really wanted to get back out there. I was ready to get back out there today, but obviously it's not possible. It's just part of it.”