The Tampa Bay Rays are finally back at Tropicana Field following a very unsuccessful road trip in which they were swept in New York and Boston, but were able to come away with a series victory in Chicago.
Tampa Bay is now 3-9 this season, while they’ll play their first inter-league opponent of the year, the Philadelphia Phillies, who will come into play with a record of 6-5.
Following the game on Wednesday, the Rays optioned RHP Ryan Weber to Durham and selected the contract of OF Johnny Field, who may make his Major League debut during tonight’s game.
First pitch is expected around 7:10 p.m. EST with the always nice 72 degrees inside of Tropicana Field.
Jake Faria vs Vince Velasquez
It’s been a disappointing start to the 2018 season for Faria as he has struggled during his first starts of the year. During his first outing, he allowed just one run, but only lasted four innings. Then, during his latest start, Faria was shellacked by the Boston offense as they were able to knock him out of the game after just recording five outs. Faria’s final line was 1.2 IP, 8 R, 5 H, and 5 BB while he didn’t record a strikeout.
Vince Velasquez Scouting Report
Velasquez is coming off a rough 2017 campaign in which he made 15 starts and averaged less than 5 innings an appearance and finishing the year with a ERA and FIP north of 5.
He was roughed up during his first start of the year on March 31st as the Braves got to him for 7 runs — 4 earned — on 9 hits. He was out of the game by the end of the third inning. His following start went much better as held the Marlins to a run on four hits over six innings pitched, picking up 6 strikeouts and also walked a batter.
Over his career, his splits have been pretty neutral, with left handed hitters having a slight advantage against Velasquez.
In 2018, he has relied primarily on his Fourseam Fastball (95mph), also mixing in a Curve (81mph) and Slider (85mph). He also rarely throws a Sinker (91mph) and Change (88mph).
His fourseam fastball generates an extremely high number of swings & misses compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers, results in somewhat more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ fourseamers and has slightly above average velo. His curve is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ curves, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ curves, has a sharp downward bite, is slightly harder than usual and has primarily 12-6 movement. His slider is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ sliders and has some two-plane movement. His sinker (take this with a grain of salt because he’s only thrown 2 of them in 2018) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ sinkers, is an extreme flyball pitch compared to other pitchers’ sinkers and has slight armside run. His change (take this with a grain of salt because he’s only thrown 1 of them in 2018) is basically never swung at and missed compared to other pitchers’ changeups, is much firmer than usual, results in more flyballs compared to other pitchers’ changeups and has slight armside fade.
2017 Pitch Usage
|PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES||TAMPA BAY RAYS|
|Cesar Hernandez - 2B||Denard Span - DH|
|Carlos Santana - 1B||Kevin Kiermaier - CF|
|Odubel Herrera - CF||Carlos Gomez - RF|
|Rhys Hoskins - LF||C.J. Cron - 1B|
|Nick Williams - DH||Joey Wendle - 2B|
|Scott Kingery - 3B||Matt Duffy - 3B|
|Aaron Altherr - RF||Mallex Smith - LF|
|Jorge Alfaro - C||Wilson Ramos - C|
|J.P. Crawford - SS||Adeiny Hechavarria - SS|
|Vince Velasquez - RHP||Jake Faria - RHP|