Rays Return Home, Eager For Faria To Turn It Around
Tampa Bay Rays right hander Jake Faria struggled early in spring training but seemed to right the ship by the end of camp.
The struggles have returned in the early part of 2018, and at a time when the Rays need him to be efficient and productive.
In his first start he lasted just four innings against the Boston Red Sox, requiring 83 pitches. His second start, also against Boston, was a disaster.
He lasted just 1.2-innings, a start in which he threw a ghastly 73 pitches. He allowed eight runs (all earned) on five hits while walking five batters and striking out none. After the game Manager Kevin Cash noted that Faria had fallen back into some of the habits that plagued him early in spring training.
“Letting things race in my head a little too much,” said Faria. “Letting the game speed up, not making the adjustment in time.”
Overall, he’s faced 36 batters this season and struck out two. Of his 156 pitches he’s thrown this year, he has just five swing and misses.
The Rays need Faria to make that adjustment sooner rather than later. They need innings, they need efficiency, and they need Faria to resemble the pitcher of 2017, the sooner the better.
In 16 games (14 starts) with the Rays last season, Faria posted a 5-4 mark with a 3.43 ERA (33-ER/86.2-IP) while striking out close to a batter an inning (8.7 K/9). He had a swinging strike rate of 12.3-percent.
The Rays, with their three man rotation, need Faria to settle in and provide depth. Get into the sixth or seventh inning giving the Rays an opportunity to win the game. Maybe what Faria needs to do is remove any doubt from his mind.
“I have a tendency to doubt myself a lot. I’m my own toughest critic,” Faria told Marc Topkin of the Times. “That’s the thing Kyle [pitching coach Kyle Snyder] is really good at is reinforcing to everybody really is if you’re here it’s because you belong here. Just go out and do what you know how to do.”
Whatever the remedy is, the Rays need him to find it fast. The 3-man rotation relies on Chris Archer, Blake Snell, and Faria to place an added weight on their shoulders. Hopefully, tonight against the Philadelphia Phillies, Faria puts it all together and the Boston nightmare becomes a distant memory.
The Rays return home to the warmth of Florida and a return to night games. The Rays and Philadelphia Phillies will matchup this weekend at Tropicana Field.
Jake Faria (0-1, 14.29 ERA) vs Vincent Velasquez (1-1, 5.19 ERA) Friday – 7:10 pm.
Jake Arrieta (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs Chris Archer (1-0, 5.94 ERA) Saturday – 6:10 pm.
Ben Lively (0-1, 5.56 ERA) vs To Be Announced – Sunday, 1:10 pm.