Just four days after being sent down to Triple-A Durham, Jacob Faria has been recalled by the Tampa Bay Rays and will start on Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The move was made in accordance with the news that Matt Andriese (5-1, 3.54 ERA) will potentially be out until August with a hip injury. Andriese has been a solid part of the Rays’ rotation, throwing the third-most innings and sporting the lowest ERA (though his FIP and xFIP are about a run higher) of the Rays’ main starting pitchers.
Faria looked good in his MLB debut last Wednesday, going 6 ⅓ innings of one-run ball against the Chicago White Sox in a 3-1 victory for the Rays.
Faria isn’t going to overwhelm hitters (his fastball runs around 93 mph), but he has good control and a nice three-to-four pitch mix. He was able to hold the White Sox to just five baserunners (three hits and two walks) while striking out five in that debut, but he will face a stiffer test in Toronto on Tuesday. It will be a more hitter-friendly venue, it will be on the road instead of at home, and it will come against a far superior lineup. The Jays have been the sixth-best offense in baseball (115 wRC+) over the past 14 days and are finally getting fully healthy.
If the Rays are going to continue this most recent push towards the playoffs, Faria will need to fill the role Andriese has filled all season of solid innings eater at the back end of the rotation. The Rays have some other options in the minor leagues, but being able to stick with one gun in August would be a great sign for the present and future of this club.