Tampa Bay Rays starter Jake Odorizzi has been absent from the big league club since injuring his oblique on June 5th, but is on track to return after one more rehab start.
The 25-year old had made 12 starts this season, posting a 4-5 record with a 2.47 ERA in 76.2 innings pitched. This is only his second full season after making 31 starts in 2014.
Chris Archer has held down the fort for the Rays this season, anchoring the rotation with a 9-5 record and a 2.18 ERA in 18 starts. He has been joined by Nate Karns, Erasmo Ramirez, Alex Colome and Matt Andriese; all four pulling their own weight and keeping the Rays afloat.
At 43-41 the Rays are 3rd in the AL East, but sit just two games back of the Yankees in a sup-bar division. Every team in is within six games of first, which could make for quite the July 31st deadline. While the Rays may not make a a huge trade, they just got Matt Moore back, and are now set for Odorizzi's return.
Infusing these two young, talented arms back into the rotation will give the team an even stronger rotation, which already ranks fourth in the AL according to fWAR. They'll have to shift another pitcher into the bullpen, and it's likely going to be Colome.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Alex Colome will start for Rays tonight in what could be his last start before Jake Odorizzi's return. <a href="http://t.co/zDaxKdQoAT">http://t.co/zDaxKdQoAT</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Rays?src=hash">#Rays</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Indians?src=hash">#Indians</a></p>— TampaBayTimesSports (@TBTimes_Sports) <a href="https://twitter.com/TBTimes_Sports/status/616335916185956352">July 1, 2015</a></blockquote>
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With their new found pitching depth, the Rays could look to deal one of their former starters to help acquire some offensive help, as they've been struggling enormously. They were almost no-hit three games in a row by the Indians, and a new bat for Kevin Cash to insert into the lineup would be a welcome addition.