Odorizzi nearing return to Rays' rotation

Odorizzi nearing return to Rays' rotation

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Jake Odorizzi will make what should be his final rehab start Monday before returning to the Rays.

"If all goes well, should be in a pretty good spot," manager Kevin Cash said. "Get his pitches up enough. It will be nice to have him back."

Odorizzi's start will most likely be for Class A Advanced Charlotte. He threw a bullpen on Friday and everything went well. If he stays on schedule, he will return to the rotation on July 11, when the Rays play the Astros at Tropicana Field.

Odorizzi went 4-5 with a 2.47 ERA in 12 starts this season prior to going on the disabled list on June 9 with a left oblique strain.

Andrew Bellatti (right shoulder tendinitis) struggled in his outing for Charlotte on Friday night. He allowed six runs (four earned) in 2 2/3 innings, including two home runs.

"[Head athletic trainer Ron Porterfield] came and talked to me," Cash said. "[Bellatti] got his pitches, which is a priority. What'd he have, 47 pitches? Six runs. I think there were some errors on the back end and stuff. Either way, we're not factoring that in. He's down there to get his pitches in."

Cash said the Rays have to see how he feels on Saturday before commenting on Bellatti's next move, but "from all the reports, he was good."

Meanwhile, John Jaso (left wrist contusion) went 1-for-3 for Charlotte on Friday night. He was expected to take Saturday off, then play for Triple-A Durham on Sunday.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.