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Offseason of Work at Florida Baseball Ranch Appears to be Paying Off for Odorizzi


Brandon Warne

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This is an excerpt from a story which originates at Zone Coverage here. Click through to read in its entirety.

 

3.34 ERA

3.18 FIP

9.1 K/9

 

These are the numbers of a pitcher who came to Target Field on Monday night and completely shut down one of the most powerful lineups in the American League.

 

And believe it or not, they aren't those of Houston Astros fireballer Justin Verlander -- they're from his mound counterpart that evening, Jake Odorizzi.

 

After a year that didn't go the way he had hoped when he came over in a spring training trade from Tampa, Odorizzi spent the offseason training at the Florida Baseball Ranch, an elite training facility in Plant City -- about 115 miles north of Hammond Stadium near Lakeland, where the Detroit Tigers prepare for the season.

 

The results have been strong, including most recently and most notably against the Astros, whom Odorizzi held to just four hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts, one walk and no runs in a 1-0 win.

In Odorizzi's six starts this year, he's allowed three or fewer earned runs five times, with a weather-aided bombing in Philadelphia being the sole setback.

 

A big issue for Odorizzi to this point in his career -- at least entering the 2019 season -- was his penalty for going through the order a third time. For the uninitiated, most pitchers get progressively worse the more times batters see them in a game, and the third time through a lineup carries a penalty for almost every non-elite pitcher in the game.

 

Some pitchers are an exception in the positive sense; others are an exception in the other direction.

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