The 2021 season was just odd for Odorizzi.
Last year, Odorizzi was above-average against right-handed hitters but struggled mightily versus lefties — yielding a 113 tOPS and a .252 OBA. However, when you look at his overall 1,000 inning career, Odorizzi actually performs much better against lefties — 94 tOPS and .232 OBA.
Odorizzi was straight up abysmal in July and August 2021 with his 5.10 ERA and hitters posting a 117 tOPS. However, throughout his 10-year career, the right-hander has generally been pretty steady in second half with a career 3.89 ERA post All-Star break.
Odorizzi is a career tOPS of 128 when batters are ahead, which is not great, but last year was worse when his tOPS was 170 which is an .859 OPS. He gave out doubles and home runs like candy on Halloween when he trailed in the count.
But, he even struggled in favorable counts relative to his career, as he gave up a tOPS of 90, whereas he’s usually a pretty stout 75 tOPS for his career. Some of this might be linked to his inability to fool batters last year.
Odorizzi was only a 55% first-pitch strike guy, while the league average was 61%. He only generated a 25% chase rate, while league average was 32%, which is a significant drop-off from the 34% mark he generated in 2019.
Simply put, hitters did not bite on his early count stuff and stayed within the zone. Odorizzi was not sharp enough to get guys to miss and thus led to opponents barreling the ball way too much.
No doubt Odorizzi disappointed in 2021. But it wasn’t exactly a fair setup for him. He missed spring training, dealt with injury and never seemed comfortable on the mound. I think fans need to temper expectations of what Odorizzi is.
He’s not gonna be a top-three starter, and he’s not going to electrify the crowd with any elite pitches. He’s the guy that can get you five-to-six innings without giving up too much damage. And there is a reason to believe that he’s prime for a slight bounce back in 2022. And hey if it doesn’t work out, Mike Fiers is still on the free agent market.