Odorizzi has earned it by sparkling throughout spring training, allowing only one earned run in 10 1/3 innings. With erstwhile ace Ervin Santana on the shelf with a finger injury, the choice seemed to be between Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, young right-hander Jose Berrios, and fellow newcomer Lance Lynn. Odorizzi won out, while Phil Hughes is expected to move to the bullpen as a long reliever.
Odorizzi is coming off a mixed season in which he went 10-8 with a 4.14 ERA and 1.24 WHIP in 143 1/3 innings. Over his five-year tenure with the Rays, however, he developed into a consistent rotation arm, compiling a 40-37 record with a 3.82 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 639 strikeouts in 698 innings.