Jake Odorizzi was scratched from his start on Sunday with what Twins manager Rocco Baldelli dubbed mild upper back tightness or stiffness.
Though the all-star pitcher was unable to make his scheduled outing in Sunday’s intrasquad game, Baldelli said the issue was day-to-day and he believed Odorizzi would be “just fine,” going into the first full week of the season. Baldelli said he would be surprised if Odorizzi was more than a couple days off his normal schedule, which would have lined him up to pitch in the team’s first series in Chicago.
“He’s mentioned it as something that he’s had going on probably for a couple of days and almost to the point of he said, ‘There are times when I don’t feel it at all. I think I’m perfectly fine. Is it just in my mind?’ When you get in that in between stage where it’s a minor issue, you feel something, then it goes away for a little while, I can completely relate to what he’s describing,” Baldelli said. “I don’t think this is any type of long-term consideration.”
Chacin opts out
With the spot he was originally competing for already filled, starter Jhoulys Chacin has decided to opt out of his contract, effective Sunday.
The veteran, who had hoped to snag the fifth spot in the rotation, was granted his release by the Twins and is now a free agent. Chacin was not on track to break with the Twins on their Opening Day roster, Baldelli said.
“He’s a professional, he’s a wonderful guy to be around and frankly he’s earned the opportunity to look around to find a spot in the big leagues,” Baldelli said. “He’s a big-league pitcher. I have no doubt that we’re going to see him out there again having a lot of success. I never in any way blame a guy for going out, taking an opt out and looking around.”
Pitching coach Wes Johnson had spoken earlier in camp about wanting to take two more stretched out starters along with them to begin the season “just in case we need to go early with some guys,” and with Chacin gone, Randy Dobnak, Devin Smeltzer, Lewis Thorpe and Sean Poppen are still options.
Dobnak, who started in place of Odorizzi, threw four no-hit innings while walking four in his outing.. … Ehire Adrianza provided the first (and only) hit of the intrasquad game for Team Kepler after being no-hit by Dobnak, Jhoan Duran and Zack Littell for 6 2/3 innings. … In his first game of summer camp, Miguel Sano struck out twice and walked once. Sano missed the beginning of camp after testing positive for COVID-19. Sano said he physically is feeling 100 percent but is still working on getting his timing down. … The White Sox announced that all-star pitcher Lucas Giolito will start Friday’s Opening Day game against the Twins, who are starting Jose Berrios.