Rays right-hander Jake Odorizzi and Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey have both struggled in the early going this season, but are looking to turn it around when they start opposite each other on Wednesday night at Tropicana Field.
Odorizzi has posted a 5.63 ERA in three outings this season, and has made just nine starts in his career. The former top prospect said he's not too worried about his slow start, and believes he's making good progress with his command.
"The results haven't been the greatest, but where I'm at, location-wise, I'm happy with that," Odorizzi said. "Earlier in my career I worried about results. I'd be thinking, 'If I don't get results, I won't get called up.' But once you get some time under your belt you don't worry so much about results."
Rays manager Joe Maddon took advantage of the off-day on Monday to switch David Price and Odorizzi in the rotation, keeping Price on his regular five-day schedule. That was fine with Odorizzi, who took advantage of the change to throw an extra bullpen on Sunday and get an extra day of rest.
"I'm prepared, I'm ready to go," said Odorizzi, who has never faced the Twins. "I'm just trying to make pitches and get ahead of the hitters. As long as I'm getting ahead, I think I'll be all right."
Pelfrey, meanwhile, has posted a 7.98 ERA in three starts, and has struggled with his control, with 12 walks in 14 2/3 innings. He lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his last outing against the Blue Jays last Thursday, giving up five runs (four earned) on four hits and five walks.
"I was bad again," Pelfrey said. "I obviously haven't been very good, and this isn't how I envisioned it starting. But I'm going to be better."
Twins: Fuld officially joins Twins
Outfielder Sam Fuld, who was claimed off waivers from the A's on Sunday, officially joined the Twins on Tuesday before their game against the Rays. Fuld is expected to see time at all three outfield spots, and could push Aaron Hicks in center field if he continues his struggles.
"I don't know how it'll play out, but they're aware I can play all three outfield positions and I'm comfortable playing all three," Fuld said. "I'm comfortable coming off the bench, pinch-hitting, pinch-running, that kind of stuff. I've performed in various roles. I'm comfortable being a bench player and playing sporadically, but also definitely comfortable playing on a more regular basis."
Rays: Oviedo activated from disabled list
Reliever Juan Carlos Oviedo was activated from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday. He missed the entire 2012 season because of visa issues and an eight-week suspension from Major League Baseball for age and identity fraud. He underwent Tommy John surgery in September 2012, which caused him to miss the entire 2013 season.
"It's been a while," admitted Oviedo, who hasn't appeared in a Major League game since Sept. 21, 2011, when he pitched for the Marlins and was known as Leo Nunez. "Thank God I'm still able to do this."
• Twins first baseman Joe Mauer entered Tuesday's game against the Rays with a career .374 batting average and .468 on-base percentage against Tampa Bay. Both figures rank as the highest marks against the Rays all-time.
• Twins second baseman Brian Dozier launched his team-leading sixth homer of the season on Tuesday. He also led the Twins with 18 homers last year.
• Outfielder Darin Mastroianni, who was designated for assignment by the Twins on Sunday, was claimed on waivers by the Blue Jays on Tuesday.
• Rays left-hander Matt Moore underwent successful Tommy John surgery to reconstruct the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow Tuesday and will rejoin the team later this week, the team announced.
• Desmond Jennings was back in the Rays' lineup on Tuesday night, but manager Joe Maddon admitted "he's not a solid 100 percent," and may not be ready to play back-to-back games.