June 7, 2017
The Situation: Faria has pushed his way up the 40-man depth chart, earning this chance by carving up the International League. He’ll start Wednesday against the White Sox after the Rays lost Matt Andriese to injury and played a weekend doubleheader, leaving them in need of a starter this week.
The Background: Faria was the Rays 10th-round pick in 2011 out of the California prep ranks. Since joining full-season ball in 2014, he has steadily moved up the latter, being named to the 40-man roster after the 2015 season. In 2017 he is missing scads of bats in Triple-A to the tune of a 12.89 K/9 across 11 starts and 58.2 innings.
Scouting Report: I saw Faria in Durham in May against a light-hitting Gwinnett Braves lineup (no, I don’t mean Albies). The tall righty whiffed nine, walked two and allowed only one hit in 6 1/3 shutout innings. Faria is a strong 6-foot-4, 235 pounds and showed a low-effort delivery that he repeated well from an overhead slot. He features a four-pitch mix led by 92-94 heater with average run that hitters were late on, aided by how well he hides the ball from the high slot. He did better hitting spots with it than his career walk numbers suggest, working ahead throughout and throwing 74 of his 102 pitches for strikes. His top secondary is a low-80s change-up with excellent arm speed and tumble that features as an outpitch. His mid-70s curveball is average, playing up because he mixed it and located it well enough for called and swinging strikes. But in that velo band, I am not confident the pitch is sharp enough to fool MLB batters and play better than average. He mixed his very short mid-80s slider in well the third time through the lineup; it is fringe-average with inconsistent command. The arm action is clean, and if he repeats his delivery this well moving forward, I project above-average command.